The idea of getting my fortune/palm/mind read has always terrified me, mainly because I have always assumed that they would confirm my fear that I am indeed a terrible person. I would be able to deal with them telling me, “You will face great hardship,” or “I see illness in your future,” but not “This card is the Queen of Demon Spawn which indicates that you are a selfish bitch.”So anytime I’ve ever had the opportunity to get some sort of psychic reading, I’ve broken out into cold sweats and completely chickened out. I drive past a tarot card reader EVERY DAY on my way home from work and I feel it mocking me. I just can’t take the thought of someone looking into my eyes and seeing the pettiness that I fear is there. I guess I’m being a little facetious here, but only a little. There’s also of course the whole “I ONLY BELIEVE IN SCIENCE” aspect of my personality, but then I start thinking about all that science can’t explain, or I read Louise’s Creepy Corner and I start to wonder.So when Ananda, of Ananda Tarot, offered to give a couple of us xoWriters a free tarot reading OVER THE INTERNET, I figured it was the first baby step, because she wouldn’t be able to look into my soulless orbs that reside where most people keep their eyes.I emailed Ananda and she gave me two options: a general reading or one that addressed a particular area of my life. I went with “career” because, like most people that were coddled into believing they were unique geniuses, I don’t really feel fulfilled in that area and constantly worry that I chose the wrong major/path.I also told her about my “tarot terror” and she ensured me there was nothing to be afraid of. After all that was settled, I had a very in-depth reading in my inbox within 24 hours. She even included a picture of all the cards themselves.There were a lot of things in the reading that really resonated with me. Of course the truly convincing stuff is too personal for me to talk about here (sorry), but here are a few highlights I don’t mind the entire Internet knowing:
The first card that was drawn represented my general attitude at the moment: "For you, this card [Rupunzel] shows that you are at a point in your life when you are beginning to value the spiritual over the material. You are questioning your career choices that have been made for reasons of money and security over happiness and finding your purpose in life. You are ready to make an extreme change, but are unsure of where to start."
Now, I realize that this could apply to a large percentage of the human population. A lot of people choose career paths for reasons of money and security, and that’s exactly what I did. I never even entertained the idea of a career that wouldn’t be financially stable until the past year or so, and I still have a hard time with the concept. My family is a very practical one, and talk of “finding my purpose in life” would probably be met with a lot of eye rolling. But I’m also getting very restless. Nothing is horrible and I am financially secure, but I’m starting to feel like something needs to change in a big way.
God, this whole thing just feels self-indulgent. Moving on. The card representing my future was two gnomechildren on a seesaw, which is pretty cool, and it signified the following: "The changes you make may initially feel unstable and scary, but everything will work out, even when it seems you must choose between money and happiness. Be sure you are taking care of every part of your life: your physical health, your spirituality, your relationships, andyour emotional health. If you are able to do this, you will be able to enjoy these changes as a new adventure rather than a difficult upheaval."
All this makes perfect sense with the first card, and I guess it’s reassuring that it would seem there is a big change coming. The part about my physical health gave me pause, though, because let’s be real, I eat like an idiot. I’m not saying I’m going to quit eating ridiculous things for you guys; I’m just going to try and eat vegetables whenever I’m not eating deep-fried butter or whatever. Hopefully that and running some 5Ks will count as taking care of my physical health.
I could keep pasting sections from my reading and rambling on about them, but you get the idea. I am TIRED of my current situation and there will be a BIG CHANGE. But I’ll leave you with one more section.
The card that was drawn for “my feelings and goals at the moment” was the nine of hearts, and I’ll just let you read the description: "For you, this card shows that your goal at this moment is simply to be happy. It is important that you ask yourself if you will accept a happy life. It is within your grasp, ask yourself what is holding you back andwhy you feel undeserving."
Guys, I know exactly why I feel undeserving; I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished enough to warrant happiness. Whenever I do accomplish something, I start focusing on the NEXT thing. I don’t know that I’m afraid of happiness, but I am afraid of contentment. I would love to be happy, but I’m afraid that once that happens, I’ll quit trying.So there’s that.
This reading was a perfect first step for me into this world. I don’t have anything else to compare it to, but it seemed pretty in-depth and detailed to me, and it was all pretty spot-on. I also like the fact that, because it was all done over email, Ananda didn’t have the luxury of seeing my reactions to things. My face is very expressive, and I’ve always worried that a psychic would be able to read me like a book that furrows its brow too much.
So overall, not so bad. I may do another reading, but this time ask specifically about the fate of my stomach, because we all know that poor thing has been through a lot.
As I've mentioned here before, I'm tight with psychics. But I approach psychics, tarot readers, and their ilk in much the same way I approach dudes/dates. I want to buy what they're selling. I want to be proven wrong for once in my life, but I'm admittedly coming in with a bit of baggage -- i.e., I'm all haggard and cynical and weighed down with a load of disappointment and sadness and tattered dreams. So a lot of times, I'll leave a reading feeling like I just had a bad date. Like, gahhhhh, WHYYYYY did I have to be right? AGAIN? Another asshole, really? More BS? Can't deal! Throw me a lifesaver! Anyway, when Claire and I decided to try tarot readings by Ananda (a disabled Florida woman currently launching her tarot-reading business), I wasn't expecting much. I pretended to read tarot cards when I was in high school (meaning I bought a deck of cards and an Idiot's Guide-esque book, then proceeded to ignore both for the rest of my life), but I haven't had a tarot reading in years.Anyway, Ananda offered to do everything via email, which felt slightly unusual, but what was I gonna say -- no? Of course I want a reading! Even via email! I am a reading junkie! Bring on the splintered slivers of hope couched in bitter cynicism! When Ananda asked if I wanted a general reading or one more specifically focused on a particular issue in my life, I was tempted to get a targeted reading about my nonexistent love life or my impending move to Washington DC, but then I decided to go general because that would give Ananda more space to show off her superpowers. She soon sent me a longish document with descriptions of the 11 cards she drew for me, along with explanations of each one (i.e., for the third card indicating my recent past, she drew the Eight of Swords, writing, "This card depicts eight children with swords acting as torches walking through a cave. A spider weaves its web in the corner… For you, this card shows that you have just gone through a time where you were forced to adapt to sudden new circumstances. You have gone through a difficult time, but it is time to put away the fear that situation triggered and see how you have grown from it." So, yeah, her answers were kind of general, but not so general that it felt like crap. Nothing she wrote made me throw my hands in the air and shriek, "ZOMG IT'S SOOOO MEEEE!" But still, a lot of what she wrote did make sense, at least somewhat -- it all kind of fit into a larger pattern of stuff that's been happening in my life recently. For instance, on my fifth card, which denotes my goals, she wrote, "This [Seeker of Hearts] card shows your desire to open your heart more to others. You want deeper relationships in which it feels safe to cry. You are also looking for a new relationship."
All that stuff is, sadly, totally true. And they're things I've been thinking about a lot lately -- not just the seeking-a-lovah part, but the opening-my-heart-more thing. I've felt a bit closed off lately, like I've been isolating too much and hiding out in my tight little Capricorn shell to protect myself from potential hurt or vulnerability -- even with friends and work, not just romantically.
Ananda's overall summary of my reading, though slightly general, was pretty rosy: "Overall, the message of this reading is that if you make the effort to open yourself up emotionally, everything else will fall into place. This is the last piece of the puzzle. Your reading was a very positive one that shows you moving into a time of harmony and abundance, as long as you recognize and take advantage of the opportunities that will be coming your way." Oh, and she also wrote that I'd meet someone soon! Bonus.
So would I recommend the whole tarot-by-email situation? Sure. I'm not going to lie; it was pretty fun (though slightly self-indulgent, as Claire noted) to get this nice, long, detailed document describing all the weirdnesses and intricacies of, well, ME. Hey, I never said I wasn't selfish. Follow me on Twitter here.