January is a HUGE month for Readings – what we at Talisman call “Intuitive Counseling Sessions” – usually just to have a little heads-up on what to expect in the upcoming year, or reassurance that we are travelling along the right road (or at least, going in the right direction)!I have been reading palms/tarot since the age of 16, my grandmother gave me my first palm reading book (Cheiro’s Palmistry For All) at the age of 14. But in all honesty, some of my earliest memories – about age five – are of adults asking me questions and just “knowing” the answers. But I am not alone in this … so many of you have come to me at the shop to talk about your own gifts or talents — some taught or handed down by a grandparent or parent, others having inherited an ancestral gift of Second Sight, and those who kept their gift hidden like a sad secret from their nearest and dearest for fear of rejection. I’m blessed to have had a family who recognized the fact that their religion (Catholicism) could exist hand in glove with one’s spiritual gifts … others are not so lucky. Dreams and gut feelings were taken seriously in my family, often the topic of discussion at the breakfast table – with the understanding that this was personal and to be kept within the family home – not shared with outsiders, or worn like a badge. I have mixed feelings about Theresa Caputo’s (aka The Long Island Medium) “unsolicited readings” of strangers in public – personally, I know more than a few dead people I really wouldn’t want to talk to, any more than I wanted to talk to them when they were alive!
When I sit with someone for the first time, this is my little “spiel” I tell them as I am shuffling the cards:
Tarot doesn’t answer yes or no,
it answers in options and possibilities
rarely telling us anything we don’t already know ourselves.
A GOOD reading is a reading in which a stranger
someone you don’t already know,
gives you clear, concise, DETAILED information
about your life, your hopes, your fears …
and this is called VALIDATION.
The cool thing about validation,
for those of us who believe in God, Goddess,
Higher Power (whatever)
is that there are times in our life when everything
is going wrong, everything is a mess or we are just stuck …
at those times, we generally pray, and say something like
“HEY! Remember ME down here … well I’m suffering!
Can I get some help?
Let me know I’m on the right road, the right path …
going in the right direction? Anything?”
Well, I believe that’s what a good reading does –
when a stranger tells you things they couldn’t possibly know
it HAS to be coming from another place;
and I believe it is THEIR way of letting you know –
“Hey, we’ve got your back … we know what is going on”
and it serves to strengthen our faith
and connection to the Divine.
HOWEVER … Free Will is our greatest gift,
and so no ETHICAL reader should ever say
“You are DEFINITELY going to divorce –
I am POSITIVE you will move –
ABSOLUTELY get that job”
and certainly NOT that you are hexed or cursed!
because YOU are in charge of YOU – no one else –
and other people play into our lives
with their own Free Will to contend with;
and so relationship readings are the hardest to navigate,
as people can – and do – change their minds
about how they feel or what they want.
The purpose of a reading is to validate
that the feelings/thoughts/actions we are taking
make sense, serve a higher purpose or
are moving us in the right direction
toward our hopeful outcome …
and hopefully provide a needed warning
when they are not.
I also believe in outcome-based readings: This means that when the reading is over you feel a sense of relief AND if there is something that can help … as simple as a prayer or a stone to carry; cleansing ones’ self or space, or more — that we provide that information to help move you in the right direction or to facilitate a change. Every reader at Talisman has a spiritual path and personal commitment to helping others. I do not want anyone leaving Talisman unhappy with a reading, which is why no one pays until AFTER the reading is done and if you are not happy, you do not pay. I even script how to end a reading gracefully in my monthly newsletter. Many have heard me joke that a bad reading is like bad sex … it doesn’t start off bad then get better, and you know within the first five minutes if it’s something you want to continue or walk away from! Seriously, if in the first five minutes you are not sitting there amazed that someone is telling you relevant and helpful information that they would have no way of knowing – then STOP the reading! In a reading you should be saying very, very little … just “yes” or “no” … if you need to talk, then I’d advise you see a psychologist but in a psychic reading that is the job of the intuitive – to provide information. To save time, it does help if you want (say) to learn more about your career then you let the reader know up front that “I’d like information on my career this year, please” so they ask whomever they are working with to provide that specific information. Otherwise, most of us just go in with a “tell me whatever I need to know” attitude and let ‘er rip!
I want to end by thanking ALL of you who patronize my little shop — each and every one of you matter to me and the entire staff at Talisman, as you are the reason we are there in the first place! I have learned from all of you that my own Higher Calling lies in service, and recognize my own talents for what they are … nothing but a cheap parlor trick, unless used as a gift to bring inspired insight to others.