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June 2017

Anatomy of an Email Tarot Reading

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Questions I perform 99% of my Tarot readings via email to a worldwide clientele. On my website’s reading page, I offer helpful advice on framing questions, and most of my clients do a great job of crafting appropriate queries. Sometimes, though, I may need to break down a compound request into separate questions.

Other clients simply share the complex issues weighing on their hearts and minds, and I sift through the intricacies to create simple, straightforward questions to ask the Tarot.

In the past, some have asked me “How do you do it? How do you take a lengthy email sharing problems, confusions and heartaches and make it into a clear reading to offer clients?”

And it’s a great question that I’m pleased to finally address.

Question 2 Right this moment, I’m in the process of creating questions for two comprehensive readings for the same client (one a New Year Reading which examines the upcoming energies for the next twelve months, and the other a Whole Enchilada Reading which addresses multiple issues in a thorough manner).

You see, I rarely use pre-created spreads for my clients (Celtic Cross? Totally worthless, in my experience and opinion). Instead, I customize a spread for each client, which may range from four questions/cards to as many as it takes to address all the facets of the issue (fifteen or more).

I’m going to share a few samples with you (names removed for privacy) to show you—step-by-step—how I create questions for the basis of a reading…which I hope will help those of you, too, who read mostly via email (or want to begin doing so). Before I do, though, I want to stress one of the most important things to remember when creating questions/spreads for a client:

Keep it simple and singular.

Question 3 That is, if one of the client’s questions happens to cover separate issues, or is compound in nature, break it down into separate questions.

For example, a client has asked:

How can I best go about discovering my dreams, desires, and the best use of my time and energy at this point in my life?

This question needs tweaked because discovering desires and the wise use of time are two separate issues. If I were to draw a card for this question, what part would it be addressing? Dreams? Desires? Time? Energy?

So I broke it down into two separate questions:

How can I best go about discovering my dreams and desires? [Dreams and desires are similar enough to be addressed together]

How can I discover the best use of my time and energy at this point in my life? [Likewise, time and energy are interwoven so I’ve kept them together, as well]

Here’s another sample from the same reading. The client asks:

Road What do I need to know to best address my “want it to start now” anxiety and desire to meet a good man with whom we share a mutual deep attraction and desire to create a long and happy committed relationship?

What do I need to know about my relationships with Person X and Person Y to minimize the chances of my next relationship ending?

It’s obvious that the client wants to glean lessons from her relationship with two separate people to help her make a wise choice for her next relationship. But she also wants to try to minimize her chances of disappointment in her next relationship…perhaps even using the information to try to prevent a future romance from ending.

As we all know, however, there are no guarantees in life. And as a reader, you can feel free to share that sentiment with your client before or during the question-crafting process.

So I kept the client’s first question, where she wants insight into how to ameliorate the anxiety and impatience of wanting a good man yesterday. However, the second question needs to be changed because there are three distinct issues here:

1. The client’s relationship with Person X
2. The client’s relationship with Person Y
3. The client’s concern about a future romantic relationship

Here’s how I handled the second compound question:

What strength do I bring to a relationship?

What may need addressed/changed in my approach to romantic relationships?

Hands It’s obvious she wants an optimal relationship and hints at wanting avoid a repeat performance in her future relationship. However, rather than simply, and sharply, asking, “How do I sabotage relationships?” I chose to ask, What may need changed/addressed?” Yet, I want to encourage and empower the client, too, so I’ve decided to add the question about the greatest strength that she brings to a romantic relationship…placing it first to assuage any discomfort she may feel at the second question.

What do I need to know/learn about my relationships with Person X?

What do I need to know/learn about my relationship with Person Y?

Because she asked for insight about her relationships with two different people, I’ve broken it up into two separate questions. Otherwise, how would I know which person the card drawn refers to…Person X or Person Y?

Here’s the last example, from the same client:

What do I need to know to bring about my optimum physical, mental, and spiritual health this year?

Rainbow pencils Again, we have three issues: physical, mental and spiritual, so I simply created three separate questions to cover each area. For the physical question, I will repeat the caveat already included on my Ethics page (and unless you’re a qualified health practitioner, you’d do well to say something along these lines, too): “I’m not qualified to give health-related advice, but I will draw a card offering insight on how you can best promote your physical well-being at this time”.

If you read for someone on the phone or in person, you would be able to discuss the nuances of the questions and the cards drawn as it happens. But with email readings, clarity is of utmost important to minimize the amount of time and frustration for both client and reader. The simpler and clearer your questions are at the start, the more direct and accurate your reading will likely be.

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10 Questions for Tarotist Vanessa Moya

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1. What’s your favorite breakfast food? Pancakes

2. Book you’d like to give everyone (or wish they would read)? I have many but my all-time favorite (OK, there are two!): The Widow's Walk by Robert Barclay and The Shack by W.M Paul Young

3. What makes you laugh? My son. I love him more than life itself.

4. Song that never gets old: "Despacito" by Daddy Yankee

5. Drink of choice: Milk

6. Would you rather be hot or cold? Cold

7. Mountain, beach, desert, or forest? Beach

8. Favorite color? Teal

9. Best movie line: “I see dead people” the six sense

10. Last thing you splurged on? Books and Tarot decks!

Bonus Q: What modern convenience do you feel you just couldn't live without? My phone!! It is my life line and everything from photos to working, every thing is done off my phone!

About Vanessa: I am an intuitive Tarot and oracle reader. I have been reading Tarot for the last 3 years. Tarot has helped me in many aspects of my life, including mental and emotional growth. This journey has been very self-healing and every day I grow more and more into a better person. Visit me online at ReadingsbyV.com.


10 Questions for Tarotist Kris Tamburrini

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1. What's your favorite breakfast food? Without a doubt, Eggs Benedict. I never make this at home. It's too much work. But whenever I eat out, this is my go to meal. However, purists will say my version isn't really Eggs Benedict. I ask for scrambled eggs, instead of poached and bacon instead of ham. Yes, I'm that annoying customer.

2. Book you'd like to give everyone (or wish they would read)? The Harry Potter series. They have really inspired my kids.

3. What makes you laugh? Really stupid movies, like Pineapple Express (don't judge).

4. Song that never gets old? "The Love Cats" by The Cure or really any Cure song.

5. Drink of choice? Coffee. I would not survive without it.

6. Would you rather be hot or cold? Hot. The hotter the better. Can't stand the cold. And yes, I live in New England. Ironic, eh?

7. Mountain, beach, dessert or forest? Desert, thank you very much. Someday, I'll live in Arizona.

8. Favorite color? Purple

9. Best movie line? “That's not Winston”, from An American Werewolf in London

10. Last thing you splurged on? I hate spending money. Is that weird? Well, I took the kids out to breakfast (guess what I had?) and then to the movies to see Captain Underpants.

Bonus Question: How did it occur to you to use your children as Tarot characters? For many years we homeschooled. But life changes and I ended up back at work and the kids in school. But I loved and missed all the hours we spent together when we homeschooled. We always did fun and creative things. This idea was an offshoot of that. I wanted to include my kids in something that I loved. I wanted to create something that we all would be proud of and enjoy doing as a family. When I suggested creating a Tarot deck, all 5 kids eagerly agreed. And its been nothing but fun!

About Kris: I live in Massachusetts with my 5 children and wonderful husband. My kids are my inspiration. They love this Tarot project as much as me--jumping right into each character, bringing our own Tarot adventure to life .I'm a lover of everything Tarot. I spend my time teaching Tarot classes at local venues, reading at local fairs and managing my Facebook page Friends of the Tarot.


Ways to Use Tarot (That Don't Involve Money Making or Promo Whoring)

Was just chatting with @MoodyThursday on Twitter. Does this convo sound familiar?

@MorningCupTarot weighed in:

In cardsIn his ahead-of-its-time-and-sadly-OOP book What's in the Cards for You?, underappreciated Tarot author Mark McElroy writes that there are FIVE main ways one can enjoy and use the cards (Creative, Educational, Magickal, Psychological, Predictive and Planning, in case you're curious). There's even a fun test that reveals the main way/s you prefer to use the cards (which may very well be out of step with your online peers or the latest slick Tarot YouTuber). 

Seriously, this is one of THE best Tarot books ever published.

But anyway! I just want to remind you fellow Tarot enthusiasts that you do NOT have to monetize your love for the cards. In fact, by trying to do so, you may very well get some major time and energy drains that will not only leak your creative juices, but also steal away your love for the cards (to the point where you're tempted to forsake this wonderful obsession entirely).

'cause I was there recently. Totes.

Despite fans asking me to return to radio or post more Tarot vids on YouTube or get back to reviewing decks/books--I just...can't. I've given years of my life to that kind of thing, and it got to the point where it sucked. As in, big, hairy balls sucked.

Could such a withdrawal cause me to lose income because of not being ever-present on social media, dazzling viewers and readers with my brilliance and wisdom (ha!)? Perhaps. Likely, in fact.

But I just got to the point where I had to trust the Universe to sell our decks, my books, classes or Tarot readings.

It's not like I didn't lay years (and acres-worth) of groundwork.

If this post speaks to you, maybe it's time to stop comparing yourself (and your output) with other Tarot enthusiasts. Unfollow, unfriend or even block, if you must. (Hey, better your mental, emotional and energetic health than to be all "in the know", jockeying for attention or trying to buddy up to an out-of-reach idol, right?).

Fall back in love with the cards. Better yet, fall back in love with yourself.

You're worth it.

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