This is a question I get a lot.
Despite what we often see in pop culture, tarot reading is not akin to fortune telling. Tarot is a tool to read the energy around a situation or relationship that we may not always be able to see. Each of the 78 cards has an archetypal meaning, with nuances that can be interpreted by a skilled reader's intuition. The cards are excellent at tapping into the subconscious and bringing to light things we may not be fully aware of---energies we are closed off to, blind spots we may not be able to see when we're too close to a situation, etc. They are a neutral, intuitive third party. They are not a Magic 8 Ball that we can shake and receive a binary fortune.
Say for example you are a single client wondering when you might meet your soulmate. Rather than asking exactly when you will meet that person, a better question would be how to get to that point - what you need to do or work on, what type of energy the soulmate will give off, how you will know when you meet him or her, etc. The information given in that reading will be far more detailed and accurate than expecting the cards to tell you you're going to bump into the person at Starbucks eight Tuesdays from now. By looking at the energy of the situation and your eventual partner's energy, you can better prepare yourself to be as connected to your highest self as possible when the time comes.
The other thing that makes fortune telling unlikely is that we all have free will. We can make any decision we want at any point in time. I personally do not believe that our futures are set in stone; rather, they shift and evolve as we shift and evolve as people. Going back to my previous example, perhaps you're on track to meet your soulmate that fateful Tuesday, but you decide instead to save some money and make your coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks. Or, perhaps I receive a reading that tells me a potential job is a good fit for me. It is still ultimately my decision whether to accept the offer or not. The cards tell us about our energy at the time of the reading; it can and will change if we veer dramatically off course.
Bottom line, tarot is better suited to being used as a guide in helping you make the right choices or getting clarity on how you actually feel or the energy around you. To write it off as merely a fortune telling tool is not doing a service to anyone.
If you follow any tarot or other spiritual businesses on social media, you've probably noticed that the scammers are out in full force lately. It's incredibly upsetting as readers to see our clients being preyed upon, and I truly feel for anyone who's been swindled. Instagram in particular has been ineffective in offering any solutions, so it's up to all of us to be as careful and aware as possible.
One of the most common scams I see is the creation of fake accounts that spoof real readers. They generally adopt a very similar username by adding underscores or periods to the real account's name. They copy the real account's bio and photos so their feed looks identical. Then, they reach out to the reader's followers to offer their "services", requesting payment up front. In the end, unsuspecting clients are left without the money or reading.
It's a sucky situation, for sure. Fortunately, a little knowledge and common sense go a long way in protecting yourself from scammers. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
So, what should you do if you're contacted by a scammer? It's not worth it to engage with them. Simply report the account as impersonating someone else, block them, and move on. I also find it helpful to select the option that lets you block future accounts they create. You may want to let the impersonated account know so they can alert their followers.
If you really aren't sure, contact your reader directly through their website or email. They will be able to set you straight.
By practicing common sense and vigilance, we can all stay a little safer. The internet is a crazy place; be careful out there!
Looking for witchy-related gifts for the holidays? I've rounded up some of my favorites below! Shopping is one of my very favorite things, so I'm happy to share some of the products I love with you. Click on the images to shop.
decor + accessories
Last but not least, check out some of my favorite shops!
Collectif - Vintage-inspired clothing. I love their dresses!
HausWitch - Super well curated witchy decor + more.
Hunt & Orchard - Local to Bergen County, they always have amazing, unique clothes + accessories. They also ship!
Modern Mystic Shop - One of my favorite shops for candles, spell supplies, crystals, and decks. Order online, or visit their new NYC location.
Sol & Lua Apothecary - My go-to shop for crystals. They always have a beautiful, unique selection!
The other day, I posted a Reels on Instagram highlighting a few of the tarot myths that I hear the most. As tarot has become more mainstream over the last several years, I've started seeing more and more false ideas about what it actually is.
These are the ones I highlighted:
A few other myths I hear often are:
Is there a tarot myth you've been curious about? Let me know in the comments!
I used to think tarot readings were only useful in some sort of crisis.
The very first reading I ever received, way back in 2014, came at a time when I felt like my life was completely out of control. I was about a year removed from a really bad breakup and still struggling with dating for the first time in the "real world". I had just gotten a huge promotion and was undergoing a lot of changes at work. My friends were suddenly getting married all around me, and I felt incredibly alone. Eventually, a friend convinced me to go for an angel card reading.
It wound up being really life-changing and, honestly, is part of what led me to start learning tarot for myself. And while it was a great experience, I know I am not the only one with the false belief that readings were only needed or helpful in times of extreme indecision or confusion.
As I've gotten deeper into my practice, I've learned that that could not be further from the truth.
At its core, tarot is a great way to illuminate the path you're currently on. It can aid in decision making and bring up feelings and beliefs you've been holding subconsciously. It can help you get a sense of how to move from point A to point B. Of course, it can be tremendously helpful in times of crisis. Over the years, it's helped me make sense of breakups, deal with friend issues, get clearer on my career direction in times of uncertainty, and so much more.
It can also help in the day-to-day sense.
Often, if I don't have a specific question in mind, I'll ask the cards what I need to know at the moment. Every morning, I do a three-card spread for myself, focusing on the energy of the day ahead, what I should focus on, and what I need to avoid or let go. Sometimes I know I want some insight on a specific segment of my life, such as work or friendships, but I don't have one set question. Readings can provide a nice overview of these areas, or timeframes such as the week, month, lunar cycle, or year ahead.
Really, no question is too small. You can ask how to best approach a situation with a specific person, or whether making a certain decision is in your best interest. As long as it matters to you and you can focus your energy behind what you're asking, it's okay. You don't need to wait until things get really crazy to seek out a reading; if anything, it can be helpful to get readings regularly before things get to that point.
There are only two things I caution my clients against asking in a reading. Simple yes/no questions about the future (e.g. "Will I get pregnant this year?" or "Will I win the lottery?") don't really work for tarot. Again, the cards can illuminate your current path and share messages from your subconscious or your spirit guides. They aren't meant for fortune telling in the traditional sense. The second type of questions I steer clients away from are specific medical or legal questions. I am not a doctor or a lawyer, and those types of questions are outside my comfort zone. If you're seeking advice for either of those types of situations, I urge you to consult a professional :)
Everyone has their own comfort level in terms of where, when, and how they get readings. Don't psych yourself out if you feel like your question isn't "big" enough to necessitate a reading. You just may find the guidance you didn't know you needed!
You know that new hobby that's been on your to-do list for years, but you've never gotten around to learning? That was tarot for me.
I've been intrigued by all things spiritual for as long as I can remember, and I became interested in tarot specifically after having a really life-changing angel card reading in 2014. I even went so far in the following year as to buy myself a tarot deck and some accompanying books.
At the time, I was working two jobs and barely had time to eat dinner most nights. Every time I opened one of my books, I would become overwhelmed at the amount I had to learn in a very limited amount of time. Back on the shelf went the books, and my deck sat in its original box, collecting dust on my nightstand.
In March 2020, the pandemic forced me to work from home and follow a typical 9-5 schedule for the first time in years. My part-time job at a fitness studio shut down, freeing up my weekends. With no ability to have a social life, I suddenly had a lot of free time on my hands. About a month into quarantine, I decided to seize the opportunity and enrolled in a self-paced online tarot course.
I purchased the course on a rainy Sunday and immediately started watching the lessons. I was hooked and spent hours going through them the first day. Something just clicked. In the following weeks and months, I enrolled in some more advanced courses and purchased new decks. By the beginning of the summer, I felt sure that I wanted to share this hobby with others once I was more experienced.
That fall, I began reading for other people and started the legwork on bringing Anchors Aweigh Tarot to life. I officially launched the business in January and haven't looked back.
I like to say that learning tarot was one of the few really positive things to happen to me during the pandemic. Although the last year has been very difficult in a lot of ways, I'm grateful that it gave me the free time to really dive in and practice my craft. I am excited to see where this journey takes me, and I look forward to continuing to learn.
To learn more about me and Anchors Aweigh Tarot, click here.