I help highly sensitive intuitives do radical tarot.
To those with the patience for meatier content; those willing to try new, challenging, and maybe at times silly things; and those who share my values: hello.
I love me some honesty. And the truth is, I’ve only got two minutes with you anyhow, so I love me some TL;DR. Use these links to skip around:
How my tarot practice developed
What can be difficult about working with me
Serious. Different. Difficult.
In my sophomore year of high school, I had a girl tell me I was the meanest person she’d ever met.
Where I’m from
Why do you always have to take everything so seriously? She’d spat at me with thinly veiled disgust. It was the 90s. There didn’t seem to be much to take seriously back then.
My obsession with the occult was creepy and eccentric. My interest in sustainability and eco-conscious living seemed, in my hometown of NYC, futile and weird af, maybe a little judge-y. My hyper-awareness of power dynamics did little for me but fuel the flames of unrelenting anxiety and depression and keep me solitary.
These things were not popular or understood at the time. Neither was blackness, but that’s a whole other blog post.
You may be thinking, well, ARE you mean? And what did she mean taking things seriously all the time?
Well, I can be pretty serious. Prone to obsession and over-analysis. I tend to go below the surface layer where most folks are perfectly at home. Some call this integrity others, beating a dead horse. I’ve had many interests over the years and, in my pursuit of them, I’m willing to go to lengths that some folks just won’t go.
This looks like offering readings meant to introduce, translate, and in some cases debunk or challenge metaphysics. Among other things…
I’m the one on the floor at Barnes and Noble’s copying tarot books by hand because I couldn’t afford to buy them.
I’m the one spending thousands and traveling the world to learn from teachers I respect. (Debt is amazing and awful isn’t it?!)
Who goes from not being able to meditate to a daily practice with less than 30 days of meditation missed in 2017.
Who goes from never having written a tarotscope to curating more styles of them than anybody else ever has.
The one devising awareness practices to hack my own belief systems and get more peace. Not to make the webinar or lead the workshop, to get me more peace. The idea that anybody wants to know about those practices is novel and recent.
Four years ago, I confessed to a group of people that I wanted to write a book about tarot. Because it was something I’d studied longer than anything else and there were things I’d needed to hear when I was studying tarot that I never saw in the resources at the time. I want to write the book I needed.
For the average person, books are hard to write. You need to be serious to write them. Lately, entire careers are aging out and at a rate faster than they’ve ever done. If humans don’t clean up their relationship with one another, their art, healing, and their businesses, none of us are going to make it. Thinking of it this way, it seems a perfectly good time to be serious. And a good time to do things differently.
Yes. Everybody says they are different.
But when you get a reading from them or read their work they don’t sound so different, do they? They are the same because they believe the same things. It’s comforting to find confirmation for what we already believe out in the world. It’s familiar.
Instruments I’ve played
Here are some of the most popular sources of tarot knowledge today:
- Biddy Tarot
- The Alternative Tarot Course
- Holistic Tarot
- 78 Degrees of Wisdom
That’s not all of them, but if you’ve been learning to read tarot recently, I’m sure you’ve been exposed to one of these sources. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tarot reader who hasn’t.
I’m one of them.
Only one of these sources existed when I was learning to read tarot. I can’t say for sure I haven’t read it. I copied 100s of tarot books by hand but I only noted the sources where I found strong resonance, and as it happens, it did not happen with the popular books at the time.
Not that I won’t circle back around and use some of these. In some cases, I’m looking forward to it! But these are not the core of my interpretations or tarot knowledge. And that’s part of the reason my interpretations will sound different than ALL the people who learned from these sources.
My tarot practice was catapulted forward when I discovered Paul Hughes-Barlow’s site in the early 00s. The original site no longer exists and the new one is very different. I learned from Catherine Chapman’s original site, which has also changed. I haunted aeclectictarot.net. (I’m dating myself now aren’t I…)
After ten years of memorizing more than my share of metaphysical information, I threw it out. Well, you can’t really. But I met Arwen of tarotbyarwen.com and was exposed for the first time to an intuitive style of reading tarot. I tried Arwen’s approach and engaged the art directly, only calling on my knowledge of Golden Dawn and Elemental Dignities when they served to deepen my intuitive responses.
My practice morphed once again when I got to study face to face with half the tarot world at the Reader’s Studio in 2015 and again in 2016 and met with most of the list of teachers you see on this page. Once I was exposed to Choice-Centered tarot via James Wells, I arrived at a style very close to what I use now. The finishing touches on my practice would come from my experience facilitating spaces for underrepresented youths.
Am I the only explorer of the Golden Dawn style of interpretation? Certainly not.
How many of them are also intuitive readers? Have studied with the folks that I have? How many of them are also not pagan or witches? (I’m not.) From the Bronx? (I am.) How many of them are former slam poets? Former sex workers? Trauma survivors?
I deconstructed my tarot practice at the same that I deconstructed problematic beliefs which caused my most extreme suffering. You can see highlights from my life in the pictures sprinkled throughout this page. I have one of the more meandering and random stories out there and have yet to see its like in another reader. What’s more important here is how that shows up in my work.
My Process is different.
Or maybe it isn’t, maybe there are tons of readers out there insisting that their clients fill out forms every time they buy a reading. I assume not based on how my clients react to it. They seem surprised and unsure how to respond. It looks like the form asks them to consider things they usually don’t when they get a reading.
Because I insist on these forms my clients go into a reading knowing exactly what they want from me and able to see if they got it. They will waste no time wondering if I’ve fallen short, they’ll know right away because it will be in writing. They hold me as accountable as they dare and call me out on it if I don’t deliver. Rather than shaming them into silence to preserve my ego, I’m often encouraging my clients to call me out and prove me wrong. Their confidence and clarity is my goal, with or without me being “right.”
My boundaries are different.
Money, like an intake form, is a barrier to entry. While I have huge respect for the social justice warriors out there organizing and making moves. I haven’t yet graduated from the work of decolonizing myself. I’m continually looking for the oppression within.
One of the ways I do this in my business is by rejecting the capitalist habit of rewarding those with money and shutting out those without. I’m not trying to punish the folks that can pay either. I’m just not looking to send the message that having money means rewards from me. Not that I won’t play favorites. I try to reward those who engage me and my work and do so regardless of what they can afford to give me.
Another way I do this is by raising money for causes I care about. The money I earn in my business isn’t enough to feed or shelter me yet. In the meantime, I rely on other support systems which means I have the privilege to pay it forward. Oppression within says, I don’t have a right to share what I get until I’m entirely self-sufficient. Thank goodness for the choice to act outside of beliefs. Difficult but worth it.
Who I’ve studied with
Those pieces of paper
mean I got to study
in person with
these amazing people:
Yoav Ben Dov
Ruth Ann Amberstone
Why would anyone want something to be difficult? What do you mean difficult?
When I read, I’m trying to do something a little lofty, to give you “the best reading,” every time. It’s an endeavor that I think is difficult but worth it. How do I do this? I cheat. I start by asking you how to do it.
You know exactly what you’re looking for in every experience you have.
At a party, in a relationship, and in a tarot reading. How often do you proclaim it? How often do you set it out on the table? I’m at this party to meet someone who can teach me about ____, I’m looking for a relationship where I can receive_____, the best tarot reading will _____. What would happen if you asked for you wanted up front and let everyone around you help give it to you? I wanna know. Don’t you wanna know?
When you ask for what you want, you become partly responsible for its manifestation. Responsibility is the difficult part. It means rather than just rely on someone else to think for you, you get constant reminders of your choices. It means invitations to co-create or adapt systems that aren’t working. It means if an experience falls short of your expectations, it’s up to you to walk away or speak up.
Places I go
That doesn’t sound fun, easy, and warm and fuzzy at all.
Nope. But actually, I’m those things too. So much so that it’s pretty evident in my writing and work. When people see my big goofy grin coming they think, she’s really kind. They don’t see my intensity or dedication until we’re working together, collaborating, or when I provide a service. I figured this was the place to give you a heads up.
I’m not the witch, social justice warrior, easy to swallow, like-everybody-else tarot reader you may have been hoping. But I’m honest af, and if we work together, it’ll be weird and worth it. And, no one can decide but you.
My mission is to use my creativity, discipline, enthusiasm, sensitivity, sexuality, and spirituality by cultivating awareness, writing, developing spiritual practices and education that brings about a world where people are empowered, liberated, and supported in their autonomy; where I model and teach how to create a life that deeply nourishes, engages the body, is energetically and ecologically sustainable and spiritually abundant and where I create tools to foster intimacy and self healing.
Serious when it matters.
Different but honest.
Difficult but worth it.
I have fun too…
Siobhan is a NYC-born writer, spiritual ally, and pro tarot reader living in central Texas. Her facilitative style is the blended result of almost two decades of study of tarot as well as communication styles, shamanic ritual, sacred sexuality, and alternative relationships. She writes a column at littleredtarot.com and is the creator of these monthly ‘Scopes – the first ever collaborative tarotscopes.
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