Monday, August 17, 2015

The Omily Tarot: You Can Do it in with a Beer, You Can Do it with a Peer...

I just gave my favorite kind of tarot reading! It was for an awesome person, it was in a bar after tasty beers and snacks, and we didn't use a stiff pre-ordained spread for the cards.

Specifically, my wonderful friend Jessica asked me to do her yearly Birthday tarot reading for her, and I was all too happy to oblige!

Since she reads tarot as well, we had a rich discussion, comparing notes of our own personal significances and patterns in the cards, and noticing patterns within the reading itself. A few main ideas popped up over and over, and I was able to see several rich examples of Jessica's personal archetypal imagery and mythology leading to different ideas and insights than what I found in familiar cards.

She was really into my miniature Waite-Smith tarot deck: the one I use most frequently. While I wasn't initially drawn to the imagery of this deck, it was given to me as a gift by my best friend, which was a clear enough sign that this was a good deck for me. Now that I've explored it more thoroughly, I've really grown to appreciate the beauty and clarity of this deck.

Spoiler alert: I'm paying the magic forward by giving Jessica her own miniature Waite-Smith deck as a late birthday gift tomorrow!! :-D

If you've been reading my tarot posts for a while, you may recall that I don't believe there's anything wrong with buying tarot decks for yourself, whether it's your first deck or your fiftieth, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the extra level of significance that comes with a deck that's a gift. Maybe I'm flattering myself by thinking that receiving the deck from me will make it a richer source of symbolism and meaning for Jessica, but it can't hurt...and it will likely mean she'll get it into her hands sooner. I know I take forever to buy things for myself.

I think that when we're new to reading the tarot, we might gravitate toward reading for people who know nothing about the tarot. We may feel nervous, or embarrassed to read for other tarot readers, especially if we perceive them to be be better at it than us. I find that, inevitably, you learn so much from reading for another tarot reader, of doing a reading together, so you can compare notes. I think the biggest lesson you'll learn is that your own insights, no matter how new to the tarot you are, no matter if you have to check the book for every single card, add to the conversation, and provoke the interest of your more experienced partner. This can be a great confidence boost for the beginner, but it's an equally worthwhile experience for the more experienced reader. As the Buddhist saying goes:

"In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind, there are few."

Two experienced tarot readers can also read for each other, or do a reading of a character, or famous person, and interpret the spread together.

And if these activities take place at a bar with tasty beers, wines, or cocktails and snacks, so much the  better!

Might I recommend 61 Local (pictured above)? Right off the Bergen stop on the F/G, the expansive space is full of big, shared tables, with lots of real estate for readings, the menu features only local beers and wines, and a couple simple beer/wine cocktails, including a tasty treat made with local vermouth, and local chardonay, lemon juice, and juniper syrup, and seriously delicious food. Again, there's a strong emphasis on local flavors, and you can take your pick from small plates to big meals, both hearty humane meat dishes, and awesome vegetarian options. Can you see why I love this place so much?

What better way to suggest doing a reading together with your pro reader friend than after a few glasses of liquid courage? The Victorians all drank during seances! Why not you??

I mean, it's not like booze is essential for tarot reading...I've just found that it usually enhances the experience. Give it a try, if that's your thing!

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