Friday, September 23, 2011

The Blog Has Moved!


All new content will be posted at, which is integrated into my site. My blog here will remain, but no new content will be posted.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Taste of Tarot by Hilary and Lessons Learned

The beginning of a internet journey...
Guess what! My fully functional website launches this Friday! (so you better stop by then to find out what goodies and reading specials are happening!)

This website is the cumulation of nearly five months of work with my tarot mentor, Theresa Reed. It is something I am extremely proud of, and something I will continue to be proud of. Most of this work has been a cosmic kick in the pants, the crux of the message being to not hide my light under a bushel. This is somewhat terrifying to step into the limelight (much like that Fool above teetering on the precipice), but I acknowledge that it is something I need to do to help my business grow. If you have been "hiding" your talents in some way, take my advice: Stop. Stop it right now. You are worthy of so much more than you give yourself credit for.

Lessons learned (so far):

  1. If you are not happy in the job you're in, take the steps to change the situation. If you cannot change the situation, change your perspective. You may find the results liberating. 
  2. We make SO many excuses when we are afraid. My excuse was the tax man/IRS/blah-blah-blah/etc. were going to come get me if I even thought about making tarot my business. Guess what? It's an excuse. And if I do everything through the correct channels, my fear of the guvment (misspelling intended) is unfounded.
  3. Damn, a lot of us tarot readers have low self-esteem. Were we not loved enough as children? Where the hell did this low self-esteem epidemic come from? I know a lot of amazing readers (listen, peeps, these are published authors of tarot books) that suffer from low self-esteem. Surprising, right? We all have our issues. Doesn't make them real. Doesn't make what we think true. Pluck up and see above: you are worthy of so much more than you give yourself credit for.
  4. You gotta spend money to make money. Sadly, a truth to some degree. But if you keep up to date with your bookkeeping and use a spreadsheet... who knows what success you can accomplish! There are also plenty of ways to advertise for free or on the cheap. Applying a creative brain to it absolutely helps. And the phrase "I'm just not a business person" is... guess what? Yup. An excuse.
  5. There is a wormhole that is directly and inversely proportional to the amount of time you put into this. Surprisingly, as busy as I've been, time seems to warp and allow me to do everything I want to do! The mantra of work hard, play hard has been really working for me! Also, every social opportunity I turn into a "marketing" opportunity (in a non-skeezy way, of course). I run in some weird, strange, esoteric circles. Tarot is a subject that happens to come up a lot in social situations. And I say... "What a coincidence! I'm a tarot reader!" I'm letting it all hang out.
  6. A mentor is a wonderful thing. They push us SO much farther than we're willing to go ourselves. They tell us stuff about ourselves that we pooh-pooh or explain away. They make us do things that we're afraid to do. They allow us to grow and flourish under a watchful eye. They give us advice so we don't make costly mistakes. So, in case I haven't said it enough: Theresa, thank you. A million times thank you.
"Leap, and the net will appear."--John Burroughs

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From Someone Who's Been Given Too Much Advice

What is it about a difficult situation that makes us look outside of ourselves for answers, thinking that an outsider's perspective/advice has more validity than what we are personally thinking and feeling? I'm not saying that another person's viewpoint doesn't have validity; but why is it that we so willingly give away our own power by accepting their opinion as above our own?

I've been reading blogs that I wrote a long time ago when I was on I wrote about the label of psychic and what a tarot reader should or shouldn't be. This was only a few short years ago. My perspective has completely changed from what I wrote:

"So, while I do still do tarot readings (but am avoiding it because I focus on present situations too much... so what if I'm accurate? No one goes to a tarot reader to hear about the present... they want to hear the future) I don't think I want to make the claim that I'm psychic. I'm starting not to like labels anymore."
to the following perspective:

There are many reasons why a person would go to a tarot reader. The future is not set in stone. We have many choices, and those choices affect a possible outcome. Tarot shows patterns. Here's the final outcome card: Is it the outcome you want? No? Then make a different choice and your path changes. And psychic is a label that I'm still not comfortable with if it separates me from anyone else. Everyone is psychic.

When I read Small Mediums at Large by Terri Iacuzzo, she wrote that she entered into relationships full knowing that they weren't right for her. It is psychic, but just about everyone has a feeling before a bad relationship before entering into it. They just "know" it's not right. I knew that about one or two exes that I've had in my life. I entered into those relationships knowing that in the long run we'd end up wounding one another and ultimately weren't compatible. I have a feeling that they knew it, too, and ignored those misgivings in the same way I did. It seems to be human nature to deny, deny, deny because we want things so badly to work out, and that we don't trust that side of ourselves that would try to save us from the experiential proof.

It was told to me once by one of my mother's friends (that is psychic) that it's a bad idea to read tarot for yourself. She described to me that all one would pull would be horribly terrible cards of doom and gloom. I laughed when she said this, because I had been trying to do a full reading for myself every morning at that time, and gave up after two weeks because every single day I would pull The Tower, The Devil, The Hanged Man, The Nine of Swords (what I consider the card of nightmares), etc. Since then, I have realized that I am entirely capable of reading for myself. It's not the advice that I'm lacking. I've got it in spades. Advice and objectivity are two different things, and I've been tooling along my whole life believing they are the same. They're not. It is absolutely valid to go to a reader for objectivity. It's even okay to go to a reader for advice. But what's not okay is people discounting their own advice column they've got in their gut (yes, I'm referring to intuition here, and yes, you have it). It's not okay to put everyone's opinion about the way to run your life above your own.

Take back the power. Take back your own Dear Abby.

How did you realize that some of the best advice given is some of your own? Leave your stories/opinions in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Taking My Own Advice

Believe it or not, this tarot reader seldom took her own advice when her intuition piped up to serve her and not her clients. Sometimes both. That has changed.

I realized this after a particularly harrowing hangover, one of the worst I've ever had in my young adult life. As I was sick as a dog, cursing myself for all the fun I had, I realized that I had predicted it two days' earlier, and failed to acknowledge or take my own advice. Some of you might know this story if you are friends with me on facebook. If not, sit back and relax as I weave my sordid tale of vodka and debauchery (well, for me, anyway... I'm rather tame, all things considered).

I was scheduled to go to a wedding. I had taken a day off of work to go, and had posted my card of the day interpretations on both twitter and facebook before leaving (for more information on my card of the day procedure, see here). I thought nothing of it when I pulled Temperance (reversed). I looked at the card, said what I saw, and merrily off I went. I should have remembered what I said!

What I interpreted was: 

Card of the Day—Temperance (rev): Get back to balance today. Meditate, take a deep breath, do something creative... whatever you do to get back to you. Also easy on the drinking today, otherwise prepare for a WICKED hangover! ;)
Now, all things considered, my interpretation on the wicked hangover was almost a tacked-on afterthought. However, it was the afterthought that I should have payed attention to. Hell, the whole thing I should have payed better attention to. But in my hubris, I assumed that the interpretation was for everyone that was reading it and not for me.

Sordid details of too much alcohol, being the life of the party (in a bad way), and a two day hangover that even my boyfriend had never seen before later... I know better than to assume I am "above" my own interpretations. In fact, I'll tell you a little nugget of knowledge I learned: the advice I give to my clients I also give to myself.

Yeah, really. And though it is true that it is the details that I don't retain (what the cards are, exactly what I say to the client during their reading, etc.) that deeper message still remains retained. If I say, in essence, to someone that they are scared to love and they should love more deeply... hell, I'm storing that message myself. Who's to say that the cards aren't trying to teach me a lesson, too? When I say to someone to "follow their bliss"... well, wouldn't it make me rather hypocritical to not do the same?

Image: Ambro /

Stories of "do as I say, not as I do" (and the lessons learned) to share? Leave them in the Comments section below!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Post-Conference Rundown, Part II

The first card I pulled from the "cauldron" at SF BATS. A definite reminder to "go with the flow."
The final class on Saturday afternoon I decided to attend was Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s “Discover Your Tarot Genius” where Ellen took us through both the ancient and modern concepts of genius by giving us exercises with our decks, pulling cards and speaking from our “genius” (spirit) self, and then giving another person a reading, speaking from that “genius” self. I think my genius self likes to speak to me by playing songs in my head that spark my intuition as I pull cards. Those songs usually correspond to any reading I’m doing, so no matter how strange or “off-point” they might seem, I always acknowledge the source and pass on the message (and usually am greeted with "How'd you know that?").

On Saturday evening was the “Bats in the Belfry” cocktail hour/mixer, where it seemed everyone but me was dressed up to the nines. I used my “carry-on only” excuse to beg off from dressing up, but after seeing all the fabulous outfits, I did feel a twinge of guilt, which was soon remedied by Merlot and good conversation.

After the mixer, I was invited up to Jude Alexander’s room to play The Tarot Game, her creation. And by “play”, I mean howl laughing with fellow tarot readers. We were the “rowdy” group of players, where tarot and pole dancing combined, and where we created a song while looking for a specific card in a deck.


Sunday morning the conference reconvened with a performance by Nancy Antenucci, Rhonda Lund, and Dan Pelletier. Nancy co-wrote the short vignette to demonstrate facets of reading psychically. This performance directly led me to buy her book Psychic Tarot. I had been hearing such wonderful things about it previously, but had been on the fence about purchasing it. My doubts were swept aside with the performance. I will enjoy her book, and Nancy is lovely!

There was only two classes to squeeze in before the panel in the afternoon on the tarot (where it’s been, where it’s going) so I hustled off to the first class of the last day. Let me quickly explain: There was a choice of three to four classes during each 50-minute class period, and it was extremely difficult to decide which classes to attend. However, on the second day, I had no doubts as to where I was going. I had to give my props to my tarot homegirls.

The first class was Courtney Weber’s “The Tarot of the Boroughs”. Now, you all may remember my review of this deck (if not, see here). This class was all about the deck’s creation. Moreover, it was about what it truly takes to create a tarot deck, and by the way... if you want to learn tarot, the best way is to create a deck. Why? Because if you create a deck, you live the tarot. I cannot say enough good things about this deck.

After a lunch break, the second class was Theresa Reed’s “From Prophet to Profit-- Transition from Tarot Hobbyist to Tarot Pro”. I am a very lucky girl to have Theresa as my tarot mentor, and everyone that attended this class was given a huge amount of information to take their talents to the next, and marketable, level. Even with me working with Theresa for the past four months, I still left this class with information I did not previously have, such as her 3-Step Process for success as a tarot reader.

Finally was the panel with some of the esteemed presenters from the conference. The crux of it is that tarot has come a long way, and the future of tarot is technology. There is no need to feel alone if you are a reader. Your tarot tribe is a mouse-click away. And if you need a reader, there are many ways to get a reading without having to be geographically local. Through technology, discussions on tarot continue to happen, and conferences such as the one I just attended get planned and get coverage.

Ask me in-depth questions about the conference by posting them in the Comments section below! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Post-Conference Rundown, Part I

You know the saying “I left my heart in San Francisco”? Well, I think I left my brain there. The two-day madness of the Bay Area Tarot Symposium (BATS) + my flight back being cancelled the night I arrived left me feeling lost and confused most of the weekend (or at least it seems that way). I’ll let you know when my brain catches up with my body.

I attended wonderful classes at BATS this weekend. On Saturday morning, I ended up attending only a portion of Thalassa’s class “The Shadow Dance and the Crawl Space of the Soul,” due to having to rush upstairs to our hotel room to make arrangements for our trip home. For what I was present for, it was just what I needed, including a reminder of “If this is shadow, then what is throwing off the light?”

Next was Mary K. Greer’s class “Working with Your Tarot Birth and Year Cards.” I hate math, but working through this class was very necessary. Birth and year cards are extremely enlightening in giving you a head’s up with the year ahead of you, and clarity with what has come before in previous years. Mary’s book on this topic is Who Are You in the Tarot?, and if this interests you, you should definitely pick it up! 2012 is going to be a Strength year for me... whether I will need strength or I will have the strength is not certain yet!

After the lunch break, I high-tailed it over to Barbara Moore’s class “Giving a Voice to the Cards.” This was almost a backstage tour of making companion books corresponding to tarot decks, and sometimes even a Little White Book or two! Barbara is one of my favorite tarot people, as she is an extremely grounded and down-to-earth person. Her companion books are great and practical, and her writing seems to be effortless. I can’t wait to read the companion book for the Mystic Dreamer deck, and I eagerly await the arrival of Steampunk Tarot.

Next up was Corrine Kenner’s class “Tarot for Writers” (hmm, now why would THAT I appeal to me?). Corrine loves her handouts, and this class was no exception... all my notes were scribbled furiously on the handout she provided, using the Celtic Cross spread for both character creation, and again for plotting out a story based on the protagonist the group had just created!

Part II tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pre-Conference Madness and Pimpage

I will be furthering my tarot knowledge at the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium this weekend. People can feel free to keep requesting my tarot services via e-mail but I probably will not be returning e-mails until Monday at the earliest. Like it says on the hand-painted shingle on my door, "foresight is better than hindsight!" I also will not be doing my Card of the Day draw on twitter and facebook for Saturday and Sunday. Friday's Card of the Day will be extra-early for you East Coasters!

I haven’t packed yet and am firmly convinced I can manage with just a carry-on, considering I will be away for only three days. However, I will need to remember that am taking the same carry-on for the trip back, which means limiting my purchasing of new decks. Yes, I have a problem, and thy name is tarot. Considering I was just graced with the Cosmic Tarot (which I've been coveting for years) and the Mystic Dreamer Tarot as prezzies, it's much easier to be good on this trip.

I can't wait for this conference. Readers Studio was the most amazing experience, and I truly was not the same person walking out of it than I was walking in. I anticipate a similar occurrence with SF BATS. I can't wait to see what I learn, and then translate that into better readings for my clients. The continuation of tarot education is something I strive for... I will never stop learning, because there's simply more to learn about tarot than one could manage in several lifetimes of study!

Moving on to the PIMPAGE portion of the blog:
WEST COAST PEOPLE: Have you ever had Courtney Weber teach you tarot or read your tarot? Want to know the basics of circle-casting and why it’s done? Are you near Napa (or willing to get your ass there)? Read on. This blog is probably coming too late to those wanting to attend the tarot workshop, but I believe the circle-casting workshop is tomorrow, and Courtney is also available for readings as well. Check out the link for more details. Take advantage of Courtney's wisdom before us New Yorkers selfishly keep her for ourselves!