How I learned Tarot. Ha! Now that is a story!
A wee bit of a long story so you may want to put on the kettle and have a cuppa tea:) I do guarantee entertainment though of the Irish storytelling kind (since I am 100% Irish! 🙂
When I was 18, I was living and working in Holland for a summer. I was already exploring my tea leaves at this stage and reading normal playing cards over a pint of Guinness in the pub for friends and strangers. I was fairly good, especially after a few drinks. The ‘gift of the gab’ would flow from within me.
Tarot was something I wanted to learn but I lived in a small town in Ireland where I was lucky if I could find the local newspaper, let alone a tarot deck! I couldn’t buy a tarot deck online either: we are talking about the very early days of Internet when most people still did not know what an email was and online Internet shops did not exist!
It was my day off from work and I headed off to the city of Leiden for the day on my own with some spending money in my pocket. I wasn’t looking for clothes like other average teenage girls – I was looking for books. I was a book addict with a leaning towards strange mystical themes. I have to tell you that my intuition is great for shopping and she (my intuition shopper) said to me, ‘Go down that road, turn left, cross to the other side of the street’.
I did what she told me and I landed beside a big bookstore. I walked in and I kid you not the VERY FIRST THING I SAW on the bookshelf was a pack of Tarot cards. It wasn’t even in my mind that day to look for a Tarot pack. I was so used to NOT finding a deck I had kind of given up. I grabbed the cards, checked the price and I had EXACTLY the amount I needed in my wallet. So naturally I bought them. Naturally.
Back on the campsite where I was living for the summer (yes in a tiny tent) I opened my tarot deck and book with shaking hands. At last…The Holy Grail. The Tarot deck was not the common Rider Waite Smith deck but in fact the original ‘Mythic Tarot’. I was in love from first sight. I started telling everyone I had a tarot deck and in no time at all I had a line at my tent. I assumed it would be as easy as the Tea Leaves and playing cards. I organised swops for bread, milk, cigarettes (back then I used to smoke) and things that you can only find in Holland of the herbal variety 🙂
Let me tell you how crap my Tarot readings were!
They were terrible! Abysmal!
I followed the instructions from the book but it was shameful what I put my ‘reading receivers’ through. I would get blank stares, bewilderment and sometimes obvious irritation. The line outside my tent got shorter every day and soon nobody showed up for a reading. A massive storm came and blew away our tent. My fellow tent sharer screamed at me as she was coming down from an acid trip and shreaked,
“Well the bloody cards didn’t predict that, DID THEY?’.
She had a point!
Luckily my Tarot cards were in a bag I had with me but my BAD luck that I did not predict losing my little home!
My psychic reputation was going downhill fast.
After a few weeks I decided that Tarot cards was way too hard and I put the deck away. I do not easily give up but the cards were driving me nuts and I was obviously terrible at reading them.
Fast forward a year and I am back in Dublin working as a Deli Manageress in a big Health Food Store called Fitzpatricks, hanging out with people dressed in black velvet and also going to the AnamCentre in the wild Wicklow mountains. I had made a friends with a couple called Joe and Una and spent lots of weekends at their house. Being a farmer type Joe was grounded and practical and an encyclopedia when it came to all things slightly off the wall. Divining, shamanism, ghost busting (more politely called space clearing), angel healing and of course Tarot. I had already decided however that Tarot was too hard so I asked Joe to teach me instead about other things.
I gained loads of very important skills like finding ghosts, asking them to leave nicely, finding water 10 feet under the ground and looking into a crystal ball and checking out the future. Now and again Joe would offer to teach me Tarot but as far as I was concerned it was too hard.
One day Joe rang me and told me he was going to have a stand at the RDS Dublin ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ show. It was three days? Could I come and help him out? There would be lots of inquiries for his divining and healing classes.
‘Sure’ I said. Who turns down a free ticket to a woo woo festival?
As an afterthought Joe said, ‘Oh and bring your Tarot cards, we can have a play with them’.
So I came along to help out for the weekend and dutifully brought my fresh, crispy Tarot deck.
When I arrived at the stand I saw a LARGE SIGN saying – Tarot Readings – ‘only 5 Pounds’.
‘Joe’, I exclaimed, I didn’t know you were giving Tarot readings this weekend?
He looked at me squarely and said, ‘No, you are’.
The blood drained from my body and I thought I was going to pass out.
‘What’ I squeaked, ‘I cant read Tarot!!!!!!!’.
Joe looked at me seriously and said in his heavy mentor voice, ‘You will by the end of the weekend’.
I ran to the toilet to vomit.