While I believe in astrology, I'm pretty skeptical of psychic readings, in large part because they have rarely been accurate for me. So, when an intuitive reached out to me and offered an online tarot card reading, I had zero expectations about what it would be like. It turns out that it's basically the same as an in-person reading, the difference being that you connect with the reader via Skype or phone, and you don't get to touch or choose the cards — which has long been held as a powerful element of doing a reading.
If you're not familiar with tarot cards, here's the breakdown. According to Tarot.com, tarot cards are a form of divination that originated in 14th century Europe. "Tarot cards are a tool to help you tap into your own intuition and the wisdom of the universal energy that guides your life," Tarot.com explained. "Tarot is able to tap into hidden thoughts, feelings, and truths and bring them to the surface so you can use that information to make decisions about life, love, emotions, health, career, and more."
While tarot cards can't literally predict the future, they can be helpful if you want to answer questions about your life that have stumped you before. "In theory, the tarot cards are supposed to be able to tell the story of the past, give clarity and insight into the present, and predict the future," Bernadette King wrote for Building Beautiful Souls.
I had a brief fascination with tarot cards after Angela Chase (played by Claire Danes) used them in an episode of My So Called Life. I got my own deck, and I even have a tattoo of the Empress, a tarot card that represents an archetype of feminine power, when I was 19. "She is watery, hard to fathom, mysterious, fertile, and sexual," the website Psychic Revelation explained of the Empress. "She augurs a need for us to be in touch with our feminine side, to listen to our intuition, and to give priority to our emotions an passions."
"Mysterious" and "hard to fathom" ended up being pretty big themes in my reading from C., a life coach and intuitive based in Toronto, Ontario. I went into the experience with a healthy dose of skepticism. Because, while I have had tarot readings in the past, they were always given to me by someone I knew, and I was always in the room with the reader. Having a complete stranger on the internet read my cards from more than 2,000 miles away felt impersonal to me, and that actually might be the point. C. knew nothing about me, so her reading felt objective in a way my previous ones weren't — and that seems to have made a big difference in how the reading went.
One important thing to remember is that no matter what your reading shows, you are a human and you have free will. I like to think of astrology and tarot cards like a weather forecast: I check in from time to time to see if I need an emotional umbrella, but I don't take it as gospel because my life is my own, and I get to make my own decisions.
"I always tell my clients that my readings are not solid but fluid, like life. If you put in the work you get the return, so my readings always come with actionable items to complete," C. explained on her website. "I do believe that you know the internal answer to any question always. As an intuitive it is only my job to hear the messages from spirit and give them to you knowing they will help you recognize the truth in yourself."
We decided on a time for a Skype reading, and C. asked me to come up with some questions or topics I wanted to focus on during the reading, but I wasn't supposed to email her or tell her what those themes were. She also did not ask me any personal questions. One of the things that made me skeptical about a Skype reading is that I would not be able to touch the cards to transfer my energy to them, nor would I be able to select any cards.
However, some things C. hit on were incredibly accurate, like the fact that I got divorced after suddenly discovering something I previously did not know about my partner. "I feel like there was some sort of betrayal [in a marriage or relationship] like the wool was being pulled over your eyes," she told me. "Like you didn't realize what was going on and all of the sudden the blinds were lifted." That's a spot-on description of why I left my partner.
She also pulled the Death card for me, which doesn't necessarily mean death Instead it means rebirth, and since I have been reinventing my life over the past year, this card makes sense to me. Some of the other things she said didn't resonate with me, or were things I have made a conscious choice to turn away from. After the reading was over and she asked if I had any questions, I paused, then said, "I feel like I'm a hard person to read."
"You are," she responded. "I'm not going to lie. You don't have an easy energy," adding that I am only the second person she has encountered that was this difficult to read. After we discussed the reading, things made a lot more sense, and C.'s insight into my personality, given she had never met me or spoken to me before, was pretty incredible. She also said I have a group of spiritual elders — two women and a man — who are guiding me and giving me advice. She added that what I think is my intuition is actually these elders showing me the way. I'm on the fence about this because I like to believe that I am an intuitive person, and aside from my great grandma and her sister, I have no idea who these elders could be.
She did not pick up on my anxiety, depression, or chronic pain issues, but when I brought up depression she said medication is not helping me, which I felt to be true. She also said that I will need to forge my own path out of depression by spending time in nature and clearing my aura of an entity, or past life trauma, that likely attached itself to me as a child, which is when my depression began. This made me feel both hopeful and like I'm never going to find my way out of darkness at the same time. And, this is where, if you're getting a reading, you have to decide what is best for you.
I'm not going to abandon my depression medication in favor of getting an entity clearing with crystals, but I will start spending more time in nature and maybe use the crystals in tandem with my medication. At the risk of sounding even more new age-y than you probably already think I am, I totally believe in crystals and I use them regularly for energy clearing, chronic pain, and to reduce anxiety when traveling.
The overall takeaway here is that if you're looking for psychic, shaman, or intuitive to fix your life or solve all of your problems, you're probably going to walk away from the reading disappointed. As C. said, you already have all of the answers inside of you, and a tarot card reading can help things become more clear, kind of like using a maps app for directions, but for your life instead of your car. And, the same way those maps sometimes direct you to drive into a lake, you need to decide what makes sense for you when having your cards read. If your reading has you driving into a proverbial lake, you probably don't want to do that. But, now that you know about it you can change course. See how that works?
If you're into this sort of thing — research says an overwhelming majority of millennials are replacing religion with things like tarot, astrology, and crystals — C. offers tarot card readings via Skype or phone. She was kind and caring, and talked me through the reading until I felt satisfied in what I could take away from it, and that's what made my online tarot reading a success.