"How do you know that the cards you lay are the right ones?" ....Client #1
"But, what if you do (shuffle) it wrong?" ...Client #2
"How did you see that??" ......Client #3
How I wish you could sit with me in the room while I shuffle the cards. Preparation for that moment takes me hours, especially knowing that my focus must remain at its highest peak for roughly 9-10 hours just to cover the readings.
Focus for me starts with a good night's sleep. Without that, I'm not at my best. Focus includes eating a meal before I start and having ready-made food close by so that I can remain on task. With any home, there are chores at every corner and things that seem important, but when I'm doing the readings - all of that must fade into the background, which means all of my immediate needs must be close by with chores done, house cleaned and errands taken care of through the week.
In the morning of the day I choose to record, I light candles throughout the house of different shades and colors. Somewhere in one of my past lives, I was a priest. I can tell by some of the traits I have towards ritual. Lighting candles works for me. I use different colors to represent different blessings I ask to meet me through the day. The simple act of lighting a candle while praying brings me peace.
The rooms around this little apartment are peppered with crystals of various kinds. There have been some clients that have found me who have the art of speaking to nature, harnessing the power of the crystals and knowing their energies like understanding the colors of the rainbow. Sadly, I do not have this gift, but it does not mean I do not believe. Thus, I keep these friends close by and at hand, learning how to carry them with me and use them with readings.
Using sage, I will burn and cleanse throughout the room before lighting a stick of incense. I pray. I go outside and stand in the sun, and I pray. I release the day to my Higher Power. I offer Him the floor. I welcome Mother God to sit with me, and ask for my Spirit Guide and ancestors to come.
I lost my faith in Christianity in 2007. At the time, it shook the very foundations of my identity. I lost almost everything in that year that gave me identity, but after so many years of walking without that structure I am settled in my own faith. It is a faith in knowing that I am not in control of anything.....but something is.
I choose to call it God - partly because I'm comfortable with the vernacular, having used it since childhood, but also because I can feel my inner focus shift when I call on His name. At once, the relationship with Him will fly to the front of my focus. There is no one else in the room but He and I. It's as if we've had this love story for so long, I can never bear for it to end. I can smile that particular smile and can feel Him smile back. He is my oldest friend, my strongest yearning and sometimes just the thought of his presence brings me to tears.
In the moments that I choose to close the door and begin, the strongest part of surrender must occur. I must put myself, my wishes, my dreams, my identity to the side and call on the voices from the Other Side. I must float while He becomes.
That's probably the hardest part for people to do in this business of laying tarot cards. They must put themselves aside. It goes against our basest instincts. To fade out, blur, silence the mind with its thoughts, the heart with its emotions, the soul with its desires - Surrender.
For me, the magic in the tarot begins at Surrender. Sweet, sweet surrender. Let me seek you out, find you, keep you and know that you are slippery, and sneaky and not altogether willing.