Ask a Volva: Why Should a Tarot Reader get a Professional Reading?

While sitting before my tarot cards among the hustle and bustle of a vendor hall or fair, I ask those who pass me a curious glance if they would like a reading. Some are interested, some pass on with a shy or fearful expression, and then there are those that stop, shake their heads and say, “I read my own cards (or Runes or other form of divination here).”

To me this is a curious reason to not have a reading (and yes I understand that sometimes it is only an excuse for not wanting to pay for a reading). I wonder if they truly never seek out readings from someone other than themselves. I personally cannot imagine relying solely on my own reading abilities, especially when problems arise in my life that feel bigger than me or what I can handle (and we’ve all been there, I know).

We All Need Help Sometimes

When it comes to someone like this (even those not in the reader community for I see this with healers, teachers and other professions) I ask “what happens when you’re too tired or sick to do this anymore? Who will do it then, when you have not taken care of yourself and you just stop because your body and mind can take no more?” You can only give so much when you are run down and you’re of no benefit to others running at half capacity or less.

Professional Tarot Readers and other Mediums & Metaphysicists often seek the aid of others in their field for therapy & guidance.

I can’t tell you the number of readings where rest, self-care, and stepping back from those they are helping comes up because someone gives and gives and gives to others and never takes a moment to give to themselves. I also can’t tell you how sad it makes me to see these clients get up from the tarot table and I know either intuitively or by something they say that they will not heed the words of the cards and will probably run themselves until they are sick. Wonderful people don’t stay wonderful very long without some help.

I take my own advice (in this case) to heart, reminding myself that I’m no good to my clients, friends, or family if I don’t take a moment to rest and recharge. Sometimes this is as simple as a cup of tea, a nap, or a hot bath. Other times I have to see help from others – my sister-in-law is often a phone call I make but sometimes I need help of a professional kind (we all do sometimes).

When I had my miscarriage in 2013, I went to a psychic friend of mine, needing answers and advice. I had talked to family and friends and while their words were kind and loving, they could not clear my mind of the pain and guilt and trauma I was going through. My friend, the psychic, had exactly the right message for me – “Just as women on this plane of existence have a choice in whether or not they want to have their child, our babies have a choice in whether or not they want to be born. Sometimes a being comes to the physical plane and cannot bear it. They see the life they will live and get scared or feel they are not ready. So they decide to stop before they even get started. They may come again later, in another form or the same, when they are ready.” (I share this here because someone else might need to hear these words, as I did, and be comforted by them.)

In my experience, Professional Readers seek other Professional Readers for aid more than any other type of querent.

I first had the discussion about tarot readers getting readings from others when I was studying under my tarot mentor, June Wright. June and I would swap tarot readings not only so that she could see my progress but also so that she could have a reading done by an outside source. At other times she would swap readings with Damon, who does not use the tarot but his intuitive and psychic abilities to read others. When I asked June why she did this rather than just read for herself she explained to me that having a fresh perspective from someone outside of her problem was sometimes just what she needed. She did readings for herself, and often, but this sometimes left her in a slump of the same answer without any other advice or ideas. However, when I pulled the cards for her, I would point out symbols and messages she hadn’t seen yet.

I do not hold to the myth that tarot readers cannot read for themselves. 

I think this is not only a silly statement but a detrimental one to someone just starting out with the tarot. Reading for ourselves is necessary to build a relationship with the cards whether we’re doing a daily one card pull or elaborate spreads to analyze an event or problem in our lives. Yes, we do bring our own personal biases to the reading table when we do this, which can show up when we read news that we don’t want to hear and blow it off only to risk further problems down the road. This is merely a lesson we all must learn and if you feel that your own biases are limiting your reading – all the more reason to have your cards looked at by another knowledgeable person.

I believe that the best explanation as to why a tarot reader should see another reader is my sister-in-law pointing out that most psychologists, therapists, counselors, etc see someone about their own problems, usually someone within their own profession. 

They do this as an act of self-care. 

They acknowledge that they too have problems, just like their clients, and that their profession is a great way to find help.

Self-care is something I don’t see a lot of within the reader community, sadly. I run into readers who are burned out, giving more of themselves than they should, and running themselves ragged doing everything for those around them and nothing for themselves. They view their abilities as a divine gift and that if they are not helping others with it at all times they are somehow letting down the cosmic creator.

Needless to say I am glad I sought help from another reader. I think I see where some readers are coming from – fear that going to another of their same profession or practice will somehow be giving the competition a leg-up on us, but this is far from the truth.
I’m not much on competition. Cooperation games are more my gig and when I am among competitive people I usually just sit back and enjoy watching them instead.
In readings and business, I feel the same way. We could all compete with each other like gas stations lowering and raising our prices by pennies…or…we could be a brother and sister-hood that helps each other out. I like the second idea best…plus its far less work than trying to keep up with the Joneses.

So, if you’re a reader that up till now has only read for yourself, go get a reading from someone else. There are groups on Facebook that are all about Tarot and other forms of divination and members are all the time offering to give or trade readings for those interested. I’ve also been known to trade readings and give out freebies when I get a wild hair…or is it hare…like riding off on the Ostara rabbit!
I hope that this little ramble has helped you to see that we all need help sometimes, and that is perfectly ok…hell, better than ok, it lets you connect with other people who might also need a reminder that they too should be taking care of themselves and not just others.

Much Love!
Ylir