Lately I’ve been examining my current relationship with the tarot as a subject of serious study and practice. During the nearly four decades that I lived in the woods of New Hampshire, I did a lot of thinking about the Thoth deck and working with Crowley’s premises in a theoretical way (wondering about and wandering around in his ideas), and I created a number of conceptual models to further my understanding. I had been re-reading the Book of Thoth periodically since 1972 but it didn’t come alive for me until I began applying it in a more systematic way. At the same time I was deeply involved in Paul Foster Case’s “Builders of the Adytum” tarot course.
When I joined the Aeclectic Tarot forum in 2011 it jump-started my writing on all things related to divination. But Aeclectic folded in 2017, and I wasn’t satisfied with the start-up groups that formed in its wake because the active “esoteric” crowd from Aeclectic pretty much disappeared. So I started this blog to keep my hand in on thinking and writing about tarot and my new fascination, Lenormand. Over 1,400 post later I’m still doing it.
The “reading” of the title doesn’t mean “book-reading;” that never stopped. I’m referring to “card-reading,” something that was largely closed to me in my rustic, socially conservative location. During my self-imposed isolation I was unaware that online reading had become popular, so that outlet was unknown to me and not particularly enticing when I did discover it since I’ve always viewed tarot reading as an interactive art. Only just before my move out of the area did I connect with a local metaphysical shop (they kept coming and going in that small town) and begin doing professional readings again after a long hiatus following my early days in Connecticut.
Which brings me to the present. I had hopes that relocating to a more populous region of southeastern New Hampshire would increase my opportunities for public reading, but the Covid pandemic dashed those ambitions before they ever got started. I dabbled a bit in online reading but found that it’s a lot of work to write everything up and I can’t in good conscience charge what I really should to compensate for my time. I’m comfortably retired and don’t need to squeeze every nickle out of what is mainly a hobby. Now that the pandemic has eased I’m doing some small-group presentations but quickly learned that most attendees don’t want to learn, they’re just after free readings.
That leaves me with the vibrant Facebook community as a foil for my mental peregrinations. There are three groups that give me the most exposure to the thinking of other experienced practitioners: the Tarot Professionals page of Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin (I know there is some griping about Marcus’ dogged vigilance over intellectual property rights, but I fully understand his position); the Tarot History page of Ross Gregory Ronald Caldwell, and the Book of Thoth page of Paul Hughes-Barlow. There is also a fledgling Golden Dawn group that I have yet to explore. In addition to my daily writing for this blog and recent self-publishing of tarot books, these outlets keep me busy.
My goal now is to see if any of the handful of local metaphysical shops need a hand with public readings. I could also explore seasonal psychic fairs but they seem a little less focused (and perhaps less “dignified”) than what I’m after. I like the idea of reading-by-appointment more than that of dealing with random walk-ins, which are typically very brief sessions that don’t let me stretch out.