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Alrana ERIS  Alrana ERIS is offline
Join Date: 20 Apr 2005
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Alrana ERIS 
Smile reading at psyhic fairs

I went to a local psyhic fair on sunday. and there were various readers there. from what i observed some good some faking it. I got a reading from a reader who was in a class i took years back. small fair want to support the small community. She had to look in a book to find meanings. huh? I felt kind of thrown off a bit, if i read the cards to someone, i don't use a book(only practice in the comfort of home if i am not familiar with a new deck) She was such a sweet person. I asked why? don't you know the deck ?, I was very polite and let her finish the reading. She said this is her first psyhic fair. Okay, i'm understanding. wouldn't these fairs have a standard on how well the readers in whatever divination they practice,should not need a book, when dealing with the public. I kind of felt bad for her. I used to work with the person who puts on these fairs great guy. I even did them years back, i never had to use a book, I stopped because of a new job. i enjoyed the discussions on the topics as well there. But this threw me off her reading from a book, i know we all did this but the public was paying for a reading. any thoughts??? or am i jsut making a mountain out of a mole hill?
bright blessings Alrana Eris
Top   #1
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Imagemaker  Imagemaker is offline
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What did you pay for this reading? I think it's ridiculous to have anyone you pay look up the cards in a book. I'd be polite, and then ask for my money back . . .
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MareSaturni  MareSaturni is offline
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I think one reads in a public event only when he/she is SURE of his/her ability. And preferably with a deck she/he has a good relationship know, understand the deck. Has experience with it.

I won't pay for someone to look in the book. That, thankfully, i can do myself.

She was only starting, i know...but someone should have told her that.

Top   #3
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tao51  tao51 is offline
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I have been to segeral psychic fairs. I usually only bring cards that I am familiar and able to read freely. I think charging for a book reading is like going to the doctor and have him read out of his textbook.
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Emeraldgirl  Emeraldgirl is offline
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I think that a reader who is refering to a book for their readings isn't being fair to the client. I would feel really ripped off if I was the client and I was paying for such a reading. If it was a free reading however that's a differnt story
Top   #5
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rainwolf  rainwolf is offline
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I think anyone can shuffle the deck and read out of a book its meaning's. It takes an actual reader to deal the cards, know the interpretations, and intuitively piece them together. She did the later and I don't think paying her was fair.

She shouldn't be at a fair reading people books, she should either be in a different profession or actually learning the meanings before reading. Either way she would be helping the reputation of tarot readers.

I don't mean to sound bitter, I just think she should be doing something else.
Top   #6
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BobTheViking  BobTheViking is offline
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If you're going to charge for a service, you need to at least look competent. I personally wouldn't read Tarot cards for a fee without knowing for sure that I'm up to the task. If someone hasn't even internalized the standard meanings of the cards, how can they be expected to interpret them in a complex spread?

I doubt the poor woman knew she was messing up as badly as she was, so she can be forgiven for ignorance. But only somewhat. It was a really foolish thing to do.
Top   #7
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The Dreamer  The Dreamer is offline
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Alrana Eris didn't mention anything about whether the reader was "messing up". Only that she was taken aback by the use of the book.

I tend to view the desire to "look competent" as really irrelevant to the act of divination.
What I see as relevant- seeing the message which the cards present, and conveying it.

Originally Posted by rainwolf
I think anyone can shuffle the deck and read out of a book its meaning's. It takes an actual reader to deal the cards, know the interpretations, and intuitively piece them together. She did the later and I don't think paying her was fair.

She shouldn't be at a fair reading people books, she should either be in a different profession or actually learning the meanings before reading. Either way she would be helping the reputation of tarot readers.

I don't mean to sound bitter, I just think she should be doing something else.
Maybe anyone can do it. Is tarot reading really a "profession"? People charge for it, and that's fine- but what is it really?

There are a few threads around about "what is tarot" and "what is the essence of tarot"- which try to get at the truth of the system of tarot-

but what is reading?

Is it just a skill which is a mixture of "people skills" "remembering skills" and "putting together skills"?

It is not akin to being a doctor. Not unless the doctor uses tarot to diagnose.

"Psychic fair"- kind of implies that something psychic is going on. I know that many readers consider themselves not in the least bit psychic. But, some readers do consider themselves that way.
And all of the "intuitive" methods which are a matter of "opening up to what comes through" and not "putting together what's there"- I would think that those are psychic.

Are psychic elements when used with tarot a "skill"? Is picking up on psychic impressions a "profession"?

"Profession" is a label which is put upon groups of people who try to standardize their activity and look trustworthy to the public. They profess a standard set of ... well, standards.
There has been a lot of outcry on this board against the idea of certification for readers. And, I think, rightly so.

Is reading from the book the thing which would most make tarot readers look bad in the eyes of the public? I would venture to say that what would most make readers look bad in the eyes of the public is when readers give false predictions, or readings which do not apply to the person being read for; or if a reader was to trick or lie to the person being read for.

(See this thread for some examples of readers making tarot look bad, but in a way which goes "off the books"

The proof of the reading is in the usefulness to the person being read for, and the truth of the reading to that person.
The proof of the reader? I don't think there is such a proof. It's not about the reader. It's about the message.

The activity of divination is fundamentally mysterious. Yes, I think anyone can shuffle the cards and get meaningful, true, useful answers from them.

I can see why those who invest a lot of time in their reading skills would feel threatened by or contemptuous of those who would have the gall or "foolishness" to charge to read without doing so. However, the bottom line is- is the reading correct, useful, meaningful for the one being read for.

I don't think tarot readers are special. I think the mystery of divination is available to everyone, though some may be better at making it look good.

I think any attempt to "commodify", "professsionalize" or "historify" divination is going to run into problems.

I think divination is a spiritual activity by which people contact the spiritual guidance which is to be had in the world, whatever the source of that may be. Selling that process, or trying to make up iron clad rules about how it should be done, or trying to find some historical basis for what the "reality" of the tarot system is- all of these things really have nothing to do with the profound mystery of divination.

And I think that people trying to explain away the mystery of divination by saying "the cards are nothing without the reader" or "the mystery of divination is in you"- I increasingly find these attempts to unmystify to be dishonest, and an ego trap.
Really, why would anyone use the cards if they thought that they could get whatever answer they were trying to get without them? To do so would be absurd. I really don't believe that anyone who reads really thinks that the reading is entirely in the mind of the reader. We use the cards to get information we could not access otherwise. We use them to tap into that mystery- whatever it is. Maybe at the heart of that mystery is that we are all really able to tap into the understanding of all things and all people. But, as long as we use tarot, we are acknowledging our seperateness from that supposed connectedness. We are acknowledging that we need to seek, and that we need to ask, because we don't already know, or fully understand.
If all that we get from tarot readings is what we already knew- why would we use it? That would be a waste of time.

How it looks is really irrelevant. The question is what is true. If a person can get a true divinatory reading from any means- book, psychic, anything else- then they should do so. I think that any reading which isn't based on psychological tricks and which shows its truthfulness is a good reading, and that criticism of any such reading for cosmetic reasons is based on nothing other than ego and fear.
I would be a lot more wary of a reader who was good at making it look good but was just making it up, or reading the person's demeanor or responses rather than the cards.

There are dogmas floating around among those who use tarot. The dogmas change- but whatever they are, they divert attention away from the true mystery of divination.
One dogma is- it's all about the reader. Another is- it's all about the "energies". Another is- you've got to stop using the books. Another is- you've got to use books. Another is- the cards of tarot each have a final "true" meaning. Another is- people should never try to use set meanings.
None of this stuff is true. We can find out what is true about divination by stripping away the baggage we attatch to it, and by testing our preconceptions about it. We can take away all that is window dressing to find the heart of the activity.

The truth of divination shows itself every day. It will go on, however people try to box it in, explain it away, dress it up, sell it, pin it down, or "teach" it, or learn the "right way" to do it.

It reveals itself to those who seek it.

Sure, let us all praise those who memorize their books and put the ideas together in a way which sounds good without using keywords, put the querent at ease, and put large numbers of cards together into one big picture (and/or journal journal journal). But the tarot reading does not come from the reader. It comes from the particular cards which were drawn at that moment. Anyone who says otherwise I think is either lying or fooling themselves.

The "skills" are not the mystery. The trappings are not the reading.

Divination is personal, and each person will find their own way with it.

And people are free to pay or not pay for whatever they like.

Maybe someone who went to the book-using reader became inspired to buy their own cards, and stop paying readers. Maybe that person's life was opened to a more personal spiritual journey because of that. That is a possibility.

There is no tarot priesthood, and there never will be a professional standard for tarot that all readers would agree on. This is a good thing.

Our attempts to hang our ego on divination will always slip through our fingers. Divination points us away from the ego, and back toward the mystery.

Now- having said all of this- the questions which are raised by people’s aversion to people charging while reading from a book, and my ideas about them- I do think that the idea of doing that is silly. If one is going to charge, one is claiming special adeptness or "gift" at something which would merit someone paying for it rather than the person paying doing it for themselves. And, I myself would not go to a reader who did that unless the price was particularly low and I had some kind of intuitive prompting to do so. But paying for a reading is something I would not do generally. I have only gotten a reading from a professional once, and really just did that because I was there, and had nothing against doing it, and had already been using divination for myself for many years. The reading only restated what I'd already gotten in reading for myself, though it was worth hearing it again at that time, and was an important outside confirmation of the message I'd already gotten, which was about something I couldn't externally confirm otherwise.

I myself go primarily by the books, and have done so for quite a while (with the exception of two decks, which apparently "want" to show me things by picture alone) - I have done this intentionally, because I set out to prove the truth of divination to myself. I did not want my own imagination or biases to affect my readings. I do not read for others, though (with the exception of drawing a few cards for my brother, and he for me, and both of us reading from the books. Also- I just participated in a joint reading experiment in the reading exchange: Experiment- joint venture reading ). If I ever do read more for others (though I doubt I would ever charge), I would rely upon as little interpretation as possible. I think the imagination can be a trap. My whole point in using divination is to get out of my own imagination and thoughts, and to find that outside guidance.
However, I do get intuitive feelings about what to say and what not to say to people, and intuitive (psychic) impressions about people’s feelings. Those would come into play, I am sure, if I ever did read for others. But I think it is important to realize that the cards are the cards, and everything else (imagination, skills, psychically transmitted impressions) is something else. Reading from the book seems a very pure form of divination to me.
But of course, anyone can do it, the first time they do it. (If that is how the tarot “wants” to speak to them, as it seems to generally “want” to with me. Some people claim that their readings don’t make sense until they start going by the picture alone.) It doesn’t make anyone special or skilled or in a position to charge others. It is a service. What is one really paying for in paying for a reading? Skills? Time? The information?

What my long post here comes down to is that I find it distasteful and misleading to elevate the idea of “looking like a good reader” at the cost of “transmitting the message of the cards”. There can be some overlap- the remembering and putting together skills can be useful in picking up and transmitting the message the cards show. But I just think it is important to remember that it’s about the message for the person being read for, not the reader. And that the message does not come from the reader. The message is what the reader is shown. (I am reminded of a person who no longer posts here, who wanted to believe in a spiritual dimension to divination, but could not find any reason to - and I think that the person’s own very formidable people-reading and putting-together skills blinded that person to the real mysterious nature of the tarot readings which were given.) And looking good- well, that can be an ego trap, and leads many people of various kinds (and many professionals in various fields) to act in ways which are less than truthful and virtuous. I really think that divination is about something beyond such ego games and “managing” of the impressions of others.
Top   #8
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Grizabella  Grizabella is offline
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I think this reader is probably just naive and inexperienced. Maybe someone encouraged her to go ahead and give it a try even though she was very new to it. Maybe she got there, froze up, and was very embarrassed that she suddenly had to use her book but forged ahead anyway, then went home and vowed never to do it again or cried herself to sleep. We don't know. It could have been one of us, but maybe we'd have just packed up and gone home right away instead of pushing on so as not to ruin our image by not being what a reader "should" be. If this was her first fair and she does go to another one to read, I'm sure she'll find that she's not going to get as much business the next time and will learn from her own mistakes that way.

I think a person who reads at any public fair and charges for it should, of course, be able to read proficiently enough not to have to use a book. For myself, that would be a requirement. But I don't want to throw stones at someone else who didn't do that because I don't know the whole story of why they were in that position. I think I might have talked to the reader after the reading and asked them. Maybe offered them some gentle and tactful advice and encouragement. I'd suggest, too, that if they're still going to continue reading, that they just put out a donation jar so people could pay or not, as they chose, rather than charging a set fee. If I chose not to pay for the reading (if paying came after the reading), I'd just not pay. If I had paid in advance, I might as for a refund-----but for myself, I don't think I'd absolutely insist on it if they refused the refund.

I think at least the reader wasn't flim-flamming and blowing smoke. For myself, I'd rather they consult a book than do that to me---or worse, to other customers who wouldn't have known better than to believe them.

I'm glad you recognized that she's a sweet person and kindly asked her why she'd done that. That's much better than making a scene and hurting her feelings. Good job.
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Eco74  Eco74 is offline
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I'm on the same train of thought as Lyric on this.
A fair can be a stressful event, and we've all read stories about readers coming home blank after working on a fair for hours, unable to even remember whether milk goes in the fridge, freezer or cupboard..

So, for that, and for her honesty in replying why she was using the book. I'd take it for what it was. A reading from a tarot-reader who used a book to bring up the meanings for the cards.
Aside from using the book I assume she did interpret the cards in context and relative to the question or topic that came up.

It could also be that life got in the way and she has been unable to use the cards to a very great extent, thus not having the possibility to indulge and memorise all the cards. And she could have been coaxed by friends who have recieved readings from her with or without a book and who were very happy with her readings. Agreeing though she may not have felt completely ready for it, and thus getting more nervous..
Top   #10



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