Sunday, May 27, 2012

"What I Wish My Tarot Clients Knew"

This article is from The Tarot Lady's blog. Funny how I was cooking up my own take on this one, but I might as well repost this here, for you clients, both old & new, to understand how we do care about what we do & how we love our Tarot cards but how we have to overcome the hurdles of our day-to-day reading drudgery for others: 

I deeply care about you but I won’t attach myself to your issues.  Tarot readers are sensitive creatures.  We have to create strong boundaries in order to preserve our own inner peace.

I can’t remember your readings (I do a “reading dump” at the end of the day).  I can barely remember my grocery list. Trust me on that.

Last-minute appointments throw my mojo off.  My day is strictly planned and I don’t like surprises.  Sorry but you’ll have to wait.

A tarot reader practices a lot of self care – you should too.  You deserve it.

You don’t have to be unhappy.  You have every tool available (including therapy) to change your life.  Your future is always up to you.

There are no guarantees.  Don’t seek that from the cards or from me. The only person who can give you a guarantee on your life is you.

I can’t read for everyone. Nothing personal. Sometimes we just don’t gel.  Keep searching and you’ll find a reader who is a better fit for you.

Don’t waste your energy on past loves. The present is all that matters.  What will you do with now?  Start with loving yourself.

You must take action if you want your life to be awesome.  Sitting around waiting for your “luck” to change leads to a whole lotta nothing happening.

A tarot reading is rarely if ever 100% “accurate”.  If you are seeking 100% accuracy, that’s a mighty tall order.

When you call me for a “chat as a friend” and it ends up with you dumping on me and asking me to “toss a couple of cards” or give you “my vibe” on the situation, I feel very taken advantage of.  (This is why my phone is always off – I won’t allow this any longer.)

Everyone has their turn at the wheel.  Life is always in motion.  Don’t get angry if life doesn’t always go your way.  Roll with the punches.  This too shall pass.

If you walk in the door proclaiming that you “don’t believe in this stuff”, I don’t find it charming or funny.  It puts me on the defense and creates a hostile environment.  Would you like it if someone did that to you at your job?  Probably not.  If you don’t believe, I really don’t have any interest in proving a thing to you.

Likewise, if you choose to sit mute in the reading or wish to “test me” with trick questions, I hope you realize that you are making my work feel like an onerous chore.  Be friendly and don’t play games.  We’ll get along much better.

When the clock is off, my mojo is turned off.  And no, I don’t walk around “reading energy” or prying into other people’s auras.  It’s invasive. I like to mind my own karma.  (Oh, and that perplexed look on my face is not about you – I’m probably stewing over last night’s Mob Wives episode because that is where my brain goes when I am not working.)

Not all tarot readers are witches (I’m not one).  Nor are we all gypsies, psychics, con artists, women, pagans, crones, druids, or any of the other stereotypes you may have heard.  We come in every shape, size, color, gender, sexual orientation, background, belief system, etc.  
Tarot isn’t only for divination.  In fact, tarot originally started as a game – and it is still played as one to this day.  Tarot can also be used for creative prompts, conscious decision-making, self-development, a therapeutic tool and more.

When you ask the same question over and over to get the answer you want, my cards get rebellious and I get aggravated.  Don’t do it.  

Tarot is not “evil” nor the work of the devil.  In fact, it’s quite neutral and depends entirely on the intent of the reader and client.  Most readers want to help, not harm.

Bitter is not a good look on anyone.  Don’t be bitter – be better.

You do not have a curse on you.  If you believe that, you have taken your own personal responsibility out of your current circumstances.  If your life feels crappy, you can change it.  It’s always up to you.  As my mother said, “your life is how you make it”.

No ones gets spiritual by holding on.  Let go.

What feels so horrible and difficult right now will bring deep understanding later.  You’ll look back and see it differently.  BREATHE.  It gets better.

Your future belongs to you and is yours alone.  Focus on you.  Don’t worry about everyone else. Live fully. Be present.

In the end, you’ll realize that this was all just one big, joyful journey.  Love the life you have now because it will end one fine day.  And that’s the only future you can count on.

Now here's what *I* have to say about what she said, & what I personally have to say about being a Tarot reader:

1) I can actually remember most of your readings. But forgive me if I say I can't remember at the top of my head. Don't ask me out of the blue what was it that I said to you before, especially when I've had a long busy day doing readings, especially in person. Take responsibility. Jot down important dates & other details I give. But don't get disappointed if my timings don't happen right on the dot. My readings usually happen & manifest, but the timing could be off. So I recommend a 2-3 month-long timeframe in general, unless otherwise specified. & I have people who can attest that what I say here is true. I myself am shocked when people declare that what I've told them (& insistently warned them about, sadly) occurs vividly, right before their very eyes. I am happy, then, to be an Oracle like that.

2) I care about you but I've learned the hard way that I can't be really friends with my clients, even if I actually want to. People are still selfish, & they think just because they're paying clients, they can shrug me off or order me around. I actually can't take it when actual close friends barge in, demanding for a reading, without even asking me first how I am. & I'm hypersensitive like that, I know when your "how are you?" is mere lip service. Fuck that. I appreciate all my clients' generosity & I try as much as possible not to take advantage of that, & I always pay it forward by tipping people generously who provide service for me in turn, for starters, but I know when to draw the line. & please, I may come across as stronger & wiser than you, but I'm very much frail, too.

3) I can schedule you at the last minute, but do your part in relaxing yourself before having a session with me, or else suffer from delays & actual postponement. & please, I am not a morning person. Don't expect me to respond to your calls & text messages until around lunchtime. Sometimes I may actually text at odd hours (like 4am-6am) for schedule announcements because of my erratic body clock & operating hours, & I apologize profusely in advance, but I don't expect immediate replies, anyway. Better check this blog for schedule listings as it's much easier & less obtrusive.

4) Please give me my space when I say I'm out having a massage (very necessary purging bodywork for me) or on some far-flung place having a "vacation" (to clear my aura & recharge my decks). Don't demand me for answers when I will be back. I will get back to you ASAP (& again, just please check this blog for updated schedule listings).

5) Don't expect me to cheer you up everytime. I usually handle my readings with humor & lots of empathy, but know I'm just human, too, & with bad hair (& skin!) days, especially when I have my period. I usually recommend things that help make me sane & happy, but I understand what I like may not be your thing, but it doesn't hurt to take my word for it, yes? Try it, & see/feel for yourself. :)

6)  Indeed, there are NO guarantees. But in the last 10 years of my studying the cards & how they relate to our daily lives, I know the cards don't ever lie. What I strive for, then, is to become the most accurate reader/interpreter that I can be. But I'm not perfect. Nobody ever is. There are actually psychics out there who are astoundingly accurate, but I don't ever claim to be like them. My psychic powers are still budding, & I still really dread that "P" word, but I know when my hunches are correct. Sometimes I don't even need the cards to foresee something. But that's fucking tiring to do 24/7, & at the end of the day, I just wanna be a regular girl simply going out for rock gigs, urban art exhibits, food, cocktails, light conversation, boy-watching (wtf), & a bit of shopping (which I still hate, only mandatory), hehe, when I'm not at the beach.

7) I try to read for everyone, everytime, everywhere. But in my horrible experience, I CANNOT (& NEVER WILL ANYMORE) read for too strong personality types anymore. For crazy, desperate, shrieking women who actually should end up in a fucking psychiatric ward than allowed to be let loose in society. For fucking skeptics. For older men, & much older (past 50 y/o) women.  For the dull-witted, inarticulate profanum vulgus. For the stingy / matapobre / cheapskates. For blah corporate events. Not to be an elitist bitch, but my Mercury in Virgo in the cusp of my 7th-8th Houses has barely any patience left anymore. I love reading for precocious youngsters, from 7-18 y/o, though. With supervision & permission from their parents, of course. They make awesome company, & even if I don't wish to have my own kids ever, they make me think twice about that idea.

8) I personally have my pathetic inability to move on from the past, especially from people who've hurt me, but I'm trying my best. I still get wistful from time to time, but this Venus retrograde (which should last until around the end of June) is helping me purge everyone fucking toxic from my consciousness for once & for all. Take advantage of this time as well to do your own exorcism of your own demons/psychic vampires.

9) I share with you what I personally enjoy/indulge in/struggle to do, to let you know how even I have to manage Life by my own. I'm human, too, & I may have actually suffered way more than you. Your problems may not be as gruesome as mine, trust me. So be happy now. Be more determined to crawl out of your rut now, whatever it takes, the same way I always nearly die clawing out of mine.

10) Again, Tarot cards never lie, but don't ever expect 100% accuracy every single time. My "batting average" is at 90-95%, but don't ever bug me to give you updates on when will your fucking desires manifest as foretold. Be patient, I can only tell you that they will happen, but I can't magically pull them out like a rabbit out of a hat. For the nth time, like I always say, if that's what you're expecting me to do for you, then go find your own fucking freak show.

11) Just this month, it has disheartened me deeply that people I've become close with just barge in with offhanded demands to have me read their cards & tell them what the fuck is in store for them this year, without even asking me first how I'm holding up & if I'm actually in the fucking mood to read Tarot at that time. Punyeta. I'm not like that at all. I ask politely, or whine with warning, if ever I do need help from anyone. The only person I can ever bug (sometimes thoughtlessly) is my Virgo brother, whom I love to bits, but he's family, anyway. Though I really appreciate my Cancerian best friend who knows exactly what I'm going through & what to say to me, especially when I so least expect it, because she knows me very well, even without my ever prompting her.


13) I may just wander about like the regular girl I'm always assuming myself to be at the end of the day, but yeah, I may pick up other people's energy just like that & babble about astrological trends as if we were just talking about the weather & other trifles, but please, don't expect me to do that everytime. I try to detach & "unplug" as much as I can. Even if I may be really fond of you, but if I'm not in the mood for that, please don't force me to comply.

14) & yeah, I may be younger, more outgoing, more liberal, more profane, more colorful, more upbeat, & more outlandish than your average reader, but that doesn't mean I'm any less "authentic." I collect decks seriously & I can use all of them VERY proficiently whenever the mood arises, & I don't need to adhere to fucking stereotypes to let people know I'm a passionate, intricate, devoted Tarotist. You don't need to see me go actually goth to prove it. I have enough Scorpio/Plutonian influence to depict my "darkness" (Sun & Pluto in Libra in the 8th House, Pluto trine Ascendant, Venus {semisextile Pluto} + Mars {sextile Saturn} in Scorpio in the 9th House). Fuck off.

15)  Again, my take on Tarot is that it's art & mysticism in motion. Everything I've always been interested in (art, religion, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, subculture) is all quirkily encompassed in a box of cards. It's always a good icebreaker along like-minded folk, & an amazing tool for creative brainstorming for more left-brained, stodgy types. & again, my approach/style is lighthearted & humorous & pragmatic. You can blame my Cancer Moon in my 5th House in Gemini, & my Jupiter in Leo in my 6th House, & all my happy Sun-Mercury/Midheaven/Jupiter aspects for that.

16) I've learned the hard way to pay attention to my cards when they show me scary images, & to not insist on my desired answer, & I only beg of them to show me the truth, & ways for me to accept that truth. Again, what I've learned from them is that, if they show me something good, I find ways to make that manifest, & if not, I find ways to avoid whatever's undesirable coming my way.
17) No, I don't offer past-life regression or hypnosis. I'm still working on reselling Tarot decks locally. I work with Western-style feng shui (leading to chakra balancing via colors & crystals) & astrology, & I hope to learn Reiki soon. I also work with candles (I collect them, too, LOL; the more scented, the better!) to tap into my weaker inner Fire & Earth energy (I'm more Air & Water, & I need more structure & stability & drive now).
18) Read my existentialism repost again, please, that came before this one, & realize the importance of living your life in the present tense. Take charge of your life. Tarot readings can help, but only up to a point. Get going. Know that tempus fugit, YOLO, hehe. To quote this Rage Against The Machine song, "What better place than here? What better time than now?
19) I'm working on the really prompt delivery of my emailed readings. Please bear with me if it takes more than 7 days to do so, especially if your questions are that complex. & no, I will not rip you off, satisfaction guaranteed.
20) Please email me for inquiries & appointments at sp.lovecraft [at] gmail [dot] com, & please note that I won't be available for face-to-face readings from June 3-9. Please also be friendlier & don't just interact with me on my Facebook page for quick complimentary readings. & if you have time, please read through my older posts for other interesting snippets you might come across that could help you with your respective dilemma. :)

To quote again The Tarot Lady, "What do you want to know about tarot or tarot readers?  Or what do you wish people knew about tarot?  Post your comments and questions in the comment section below." Have a happy weekend. ♥

Sunday, May 20, 2012

time to wake up

Scary music video of teh nao:

Warning: NSFW. Soul-harrowing. But hopefully enlightening just the same.

I actually get a kick out of this song, but this video shuts me up. "The world is a vampire set to drain," indeed, but with what I do, & with the more aware people I talk to, I still know & believe that there's hope for us all. Despite repeated heartbreak & disappointment. Despite hunger, poverty, torture, debauchery. Despite death.

 "Despite of my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage," but at least I know better now than I did many years before. & let me share with you this article by Alex Green (found this piece in my email & I thought it was spam, but oh, joy!) that validates everything I'm struggling for, especially whenever I'd be in a crisis & I've got no one else to turn to:

Who, exactly, are the existentialists and what do they know? Existentialism is a philosophical movement that came about in the late 19th century. It is not some abstract set of theoretical truths. Rather it is a no-nonsense philosophy that encourages you to take a hard look at your life and ask two essential questions: Who am I and how shall I live?

Its goal is to awaken us from our slumber, have us grab life by the lapels and start living authentically. Unfortunately, there is no particular school that offers a systematic account of existentialism. Its founders were fierce individualists who avoided labels, detested "isms," and refused to be lumped into any group.

So there is no grand philosophical system here. Essentially, existentialism exists at the intersection of the essays of Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre, the novels of Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoevsky, the religious writings of Soren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich, and the plays of Harold Pinter and even William Shakespeare (particularly Hamlet and King Lear). Clearly, existentialism is older than the term itself. The philosophy is based on six general themes:

1. Acceptance of the Absurd. Each of us drops unexpectedly into this world, in a universe where time – at least as we know it – has no beginning, space no end, and life no pre-set meaning. It is an inexplicable mystery. This realization is hardly new, of course. Ecclesiastes kicks off with the words "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. What does man gain from all his labor and toil here under the sun?" (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3). Existentialists believe that it's only when you confront the fundamental absurdity of life that you begin to live honestly.

2. Personal Freedom. Life itself may be meaningless, but you give it meaning when you begin making important choices. These, in turn, reveal who you are. With freedom of choice, however, comes responsibility. Taking ownership of your decisions means not blaming your parents, your spouse, your teachers, or anyone else for the shape of your life. More responsibility brings greater freedom. And with it: hope.

3. Individualism. Existentialists are keenly aware that society continually pulls us toward conformity. There are immense social pressures to go along, get along, and live pretty much like everyone else. Existentialists challenge you to buck conventional wisdom, express your true nature, and follow your dream, whatever that may be.

4. Authenticity. Most people are so consumed by desire, guilt, fear, or anxiety about what other people think that they find it almost impossible to follow their true calling. However, it's only when you begin to do what you want – and not what others expect – that you begin to live authentically. But expect resistance. Institutions want to mold you. Other people want you to go on their trip. It's far easier to live unthinkingly as part of the crowd. Yet authentic individuals are in control of their own lives.

5. Passion. Being passionate and engaged is crucial. This doesn't mean acting crazy or hysterical. Quite the opposite, in fact. Existentialists believe you should devote yourself to a cause, one that you're willing to organize your life around, perhaps even die for. For Kierkegaard, that passion was the pursuit of truth. For others, it may be artistic expression, healing the sick, or building a business that employs hundreds and serves thousands. In all walks of life, you'll find that passionate men and women are more purposeful.

6. Acceptance of Death. Life is finite. Yet existentialists don't see this as a reason for pessimism. Facing death is what forces you to take life seriously, use your time wisely, and make meaningful choices. It should invigorate your life. As the character Andy puts it in The Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living or get busy dying."

Nietzsche, the philosopher most closely associated with existentialism, refers to it as the noble ideal. Your life, he argues, is an unwritten book that only you can write. Or, he says, visualize your life as a kind of artistic project, except that you are both the sculptor and the clay. This concept runs throughout existentialist works.

Martin Heidegger counsels us to learn to "dwell poetically." Kierkegaard says, "to exist is an art." All existentialists agree that life has the meaning you choose to give it. Sartre even declared that man is "nothing else but what he makes of himself." This view is fairly widespread in the West today. But it was once considered revolutionary.

No matter how things stand in your life, you choose how to interpret your situation. You choose how to respond to it. Even if you do nothing, you still have made a choice. There is no escaping the consequences of your actions – or your inaction. This makes some people profoundly uncomfortable, of course. They don't like facing up to the world as it is. They don't want responsibility. It's easier to blame others, circumstances, or "the breaks."

Existentialism, however, is known as "the no-excuses philosophy." You may be old. You may be broke. You may be sick. But existentialists say you start from where you are and move forward.

How? By accepting responsibility and making choices.

This isn't always easy. Pursuing authenticity requires relentless self-examination. It exposes you to things about yourself that you may not want to know. It may cause discomfort or friction with others. But inauthentic lives, by comparison, are shallow, trivial, and unsatisfying. They are often marked by the dogged pursuit of material goods, social status, or the approval of others.

In many ways existentialism is a return to the roots of philosophy, a return to the ancients' concern with truth, virtue, and the art of living well. Existentialism offers a guide to the perplexed. It shows us not just how to live, but how to flourish, how to create meaning in a senseless world. Those who reject this philosophy often do so not because they don't understand it but because they can't face it. And that's unfortunate.

Existentialism provides a practical way of thinking about the world. It offers personal freedom and empowerment. It is a path to dignity and nobility. An existentialist doesn't live as though he has forever, frittering away his time and putting off until "someday" the things he really wants to do. He or she recognizes that each day, each moment, is precious and irreplaceable.

Are you an existentialist? Only you can say, of course. But perhaps you should be. Carpe diem.

I think I've wasted enough time already to realize what I'm missing. I should be in hot pursuit of what I really want now, especially that the rainy season's catching up with what I wanna do. I want to explore water sports all the more, for starters. I wasn't able to enjoy diving & snorkeling much 5 years ago during my Solar return. Maybe tomorrow will help. I want to be physically strong again for the things I used to do & love, like biking, yoga,  iceskating/rollerblading. I want to be spending my money on things that make myself & my environment look inspiring, instead on stupid hospital bills & drugs. I know I can do it. I just lost track of what I'm supposed to be doing, thinking my soul could use a break from it. I was wrong.

 Never ever lose your individuality & purpose in life, no matter what happens, no matter how distracting other things & people are. Let all those other things & people complement & enrich you,  instead of merely sidetracking you from your goals. Ask yourself what you are here for & why do you need to fulfill that raison d' etre. I know what I'm here for. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

"so if you really love me, come on & let it show."

I feel like a huge mess lately. Blame it on Saturn retrograde in my 1st House, maybe, or Uranus in my 7th, or Mars in my natal 8th & solar 12th (horrors). But I resolve to be a much better person & just focus on my tasks at hand. & never again will I have to spend a cent on hospital fees. Fuck that. & I'll just re-read this classic book that never ceases to amaze me. 

"When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, & you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." 

I'm actually walking on eggshells now. Whenever I'm upset in love, I get VERY inconsolable. I try my best to see the best in the situation everytime & I've already given it much thought & deliberation. I know there's still so much more I've yet to re-learn about love, & for that, I pray for my sanity. 

"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love & must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt & be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
& to bleed willingly & joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
& give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour & meditate love's ecstasy;            
To return home at eventide with gratitude;             
& then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart  
& a song of praise upon your lips."

 Honestly, I don't even know whether or not what I'm feeling now is really love. There's still a part of me that's freaked out with trusting a person wholeheartedly with my life, especially knowing that this person is also treading carefully in this path, showing he's still not really sure of me, either. I don't know what to do anymore except have more faith in myself, in him, & in the signs presented to me by the Universe since my breakup, especially during my last Tarot workshop in October as well as our quick reading swap during The Collective Art Fair last February. I could be just deluding myself, but getting the 10 of Cups, the King of Pentacles, & the Ace of Wands today to signify where this is all headed is a relief. I just don't want to get ahead of myself, & I could just be dreading the next Venus retrograde commencing in a few days. & I'd rather get the real score from the person in question.  

I don't even know the point of this post. I think I'm just bothered with how I'm spending the rest of my time on a day-to-day basis. I still have so much work to do, & I'm on it. I just hope I see results soon. Not to be conditional, but, as much as I would love to express my feelings unabashedly no matter what, I feel like I deserve so much more now, especially with what I've gone through. 

I'll be trying to clear my head today with my brother instead. He's still the most important guy in my life, after all, especially now with my dad gone, even if I don't feel so much like being a responsible big sister now.