Wednesday, 25 January 2012

An Interview with Fiona Shore, our resident Tarot Reader.

What exactly is Tarot? 
Tarot cards are essentially pictorial representations of events and energies that we encounter in life. For example - determination, patience, new beginnings, leaving things behind, joy, togetherness, heartache, reflection and decision-making…the list goes on! 

The cards are used as a divining tool by reading the spread of cards chosen. You select the cards unseen from the deck to form the spread (a specific layout). I interpret the interaction of the cards and their positions within the spread, with reference to the question you’ve asked or to the issue in your life on which you seek guidance.

The tarot cannot give you definitive answers, but they can tell you what is likely to happen if you follow your current course of action. 
How did you first get into it?
My grandma first introduced me to the tarot as a teenager, though I didn’t take the cards (or anything!) seriously until I left home for the first time, with a pack in my bag. At which point I started reading for myself more frequently and then for my housemates on a regular basis.

It was over the course of my 20s that I really got to know the cards and developed my relationship with them. I’d sit at home or in the launderette and would idly shuffle or meditate on a particular card and what it meant to me. I’d think about the words and feelings which came to my mind when it was drawn alone and in different positions within spreads.

I’m now in my 30s and feel I have a strong connection with the cards which I know will continue to develop and grow. There have been times I’ve read for myself daily and other times when a week or so has passed before I’ve picked them up, but I’ve always known where they are.

It was only last year that I began reading professionally, thanks to Lauren at Molly Queen’s markets for offering me a stall. I’ve found it such an interesting and enjoyable experience. When someone requests a reading I never know in advance what the cards will tell us, but I know I’ll end the day having shared a number of very different journeys.
What readings do you offer?

If you see me at a Molly Queen market I offer a 5 card reading, which lasts roughly 20 minutes depending on how many questions you have for me along the way. (I offer a selection of fuller readings catered to your question(s) during home visits and private parties.)

In the 5 card reading each card you choose represents an aspect of the question you've asked, namely; PAST, PRESENT, INFLUENCES, OUTCOME & ADVICE.

The PAST card will tell us what (of significance) has 'gone before' in terms of your question to influence the situation. It may represent the very recent or even the distant past, depending on the depth of your question, but it will be important in showing us ‘why you are, where you are, right now’. This card offers you an opportunity to reflect on why the question you’ve asked is at the front of your mind, as it represents the ‘build up’ to your questioning of the tarot.

The PRESENT card will show us where you are right now. Quite often this is the card you will most recognise as it will represent the highs or lows you're currently experiencing. Sometimes it can be an eye opener, as you yourself come to terms with the actual position you're dealing with. This card represents the heart of the question itself and combined with the PAST card, shows us the place from which the tarot will be drawing its representations in the following 3 cards.

The INFLUENCES card can be the trickiest for me to interpret. Depending on your question, it may represent something inside of yourself which is influencing the situation (a hope or fear for example). Alternatively it may represent another person who is influencing the situation in some way. It can be a difficult card as this influence could be for good or for bad. It’s where I most need the person I’m reading for to be honest with themselves. Though do take heart that if it does represent a ‘bad influence’, that at least once the card is turned, you'll be able to move forward with insight.

The OUTCOME card represents what will happen if you carry on along the same path you are already on. You remain the master or mistress of your own destiny and so it really is up to you how you react to your reading in moving forward. You may be happy with your path and reassured by the reading. Or you may see the result of this card in particular as something to be avoided, in which case it will then be up to you to change the outcome. Forewarned as they say, is forearmed.

Finally is the ADVICE card, where we 'give a card back to the cards' so to speak. We say to the tarot; 'given everything the reading has told us so far, what advice can be given?’ Again, you may receive a simple reassurance that you’re on the right path. Or the card may tell you something you already know (or have worked out since seeing the OUTCOME card!) But this could be the card which gives you a whole new idea or a new perspective on the question and which really gets you thinking.
What sort of questions should I ask the cards?

I would recommend first and foremost asking a question you want to know the answer to. It may sound obvious but in honesty, if you don’t want the answer, don’t ask the question, as the tarot will not hold back and you must be prepared for what you might hear.

As for how you phrase your question, it’s important to keep in mind that the tarot offers representations. The cards do not offer names, places, dates or numbers. Quite often it will be easy to interpret a card as representing a person, but that does not mean your reading will tell you; ‘next Wednesday at 3pm you’ll meet a man called John and he’ll be the one for you!’

Avoid asking questions with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. I find it easiest to start my question with an ‘if’ and end with ‘what will happen’, as it keeps things open. For example;

“If I take the job I’ve been offered, what will happen?”
“If I don’t go to the party, what will happen?”
“If I sign up to this course, what will happen?”
 “If I don’t move in with him/her, what will happen?”

Alternatively you can simply concentrate on a particular situation which you’d like some guidance on, without posing a question in your mind specifically and ask for some light to be shed in regard to that situation, simply by concentrating on it in general terms.
Which card/s do you have a strong attachment with? Are there any that represent you as a character?

My favourite card has changed a few times over the years, but at the moment it’s definitely the ‘Queen of Wands’. For me she represents the woman I’d like to be, (whether I am or not is another question!)

I admire her because she’s honourable and respected and she manages to balance her family and career interests well. She rules her own roost, but is the consummate hostess when guests arrive and she is held in high regard by those she meets, for her warmth, vivacity and courage.

Also, in the Rider-Waite tarot pack (which I tend to use at Molly Queen markets) she’s pictured with a small black cat sat at her feet, which reminds me of my (much fatter) black cat, Lemmy!

Can I bring a friend with me? I promise she'll be quiet...

Absolutely you can! As long as you’re happy for your friend to hear what the cards have to say. So bear this in mind when posing your question. Obviously if you’re friend’s there throughout it’s easier for the pair of you to go away and talk about it all afterwards, but if you want to ask a very personal question, be prepared for the tarot to give you the answer, regardless of whether your friend’s there or not!

Is there anything I can do to change the outcome?

Of course you can. There are 78 cards in the tarot pack and only 1 of them (as far as I’m concerned) represents fate and events beyond our control. If you don’t like the outcome of your reading, you can change it. It may take a concerted effort on your part to make choices you wouldn’t normally make, but you are the author of your own story and so you decide. The tarot cards are there to guide you and they certainly do not control you. You remain very much at the steering wheel of your own life.

Can you tell me next week’s lottery numbers?

I wish! Unfortunately not, but if you do have a question or need some guidance, the tarot really can assist you. So please do come and see me at the next Molly Queen market (or give me a call about a home visit or party). It’s completely confidential and you never know, you might just get the answer, new idea or perspective you’ve been looking for. You might even become as fascinated by the tarot, as I continue to be.
See Fiona at The Night Market
on Tuesday 28th February @ The Golden Fleece
or call her for a private consultation or private party

Tarot Card Readings by Fiona Shore

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