People often ask me how I got into this profession, and for a long time I stumbled around not quite sure how to answer this question. I never set out to become a Tarot card reader, let alone make a career of it, yet here I am 17 years into the journey and still loving it!
It helps to be born into a family that is not unfamiliar with paranormal activity and psychic phenomena. It makes for a very tolerant and encouraging environment in which to develop these sorts of interests. For instance, my great-grandmother and grandmother were rumoured to have had "the sight." My mother sees and speaks to spirits on a fairly regular basis, reads palms, and is known for making predictions in our family. I have an aunt who is a professional astrologer... you get the picture.
As a child, I would often see coloured lights around people, on objects they had touched, and in their footprints. I routinely had lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences, as I'm sure many people do. I never thought much about it, but as an older child (a tween?) I began to realize that not everybody talks openly about these things, and not everybody has these experiences.
Around the same time, I got my first library card. Here I will date myself by saying that this was before the internet. I was delighted to discover there were actually books about things like out-of-body experiences and viewing auras. Some of these books I related to, and others not so much, but it wasn't long before I moved on to books about astrology, numerology, divination, and a host of similar topics. I think becoming familiar with some of these subjects helped me when I began to study the Tarot.
However, it wasn't until I was 19 years old, and met my future husband that I received my first (Rider-Waite) Tarot deck. It was a birthday gift, and I was instantly in love with these cards! I felt certain I had found a powerful tool that would allow me to make more sense of the information I sensed from other people, from the environment, and from within.
The next few years marked some big changes for me. I moved to a very remote area of Cape Breton, got married, and had a baby. I developed a very close relationship with the outdoors and spent many hours in solitude, gardening, painting, or just walking. I devoted a LOT of time to studying Tarot, reading every book I could get my hands on, making special requests to bring books in from libraries across the country, and practicing all kinds of exercises to help me understand this new language.
Soon after my son was born, I decided to hang out my shingle. I drew up a few posters by hand and posted them at the gas station, the post office, the grocery store... It took about a month for my first client to screw up the courage to come and see me, but over the next several years, word of mouth brought hundreds of people to our home for readings.
After moving away from Cape Breton in 2005, I continued with card reading at parties, forums, and events. I began to offer phone readings when my clients encouraged me to, and found that it opened up a whole new dimension. I conducted readings three days a week at Little Mysteries Bookstore from 2009 until their closure in late August 2014. And you can find me now at the beautiful and exotic belly-dancing studio, Serpentine Studios! *Update: You can currently find me offering Tarot card, palm, and aura readings at Broom Closet Tarot, located at 1526 Queen Street, Halifax, every Sunday and Thursday!
I still struggle though, sometimes, with the stigma attached to being a Tarot card reader. I get some pretty odd reactions when people I've just met ask me what I do for a living. Shock, smirks, and silent blinking are not uncommon. I've even been told that I was in league with the Devil by one little old lady! I tried once or twice to do other things. I was a flight attendant for a year and a half. I worked in a health food store. I toyed with the idea of becoming a veterinary technician.
However, my passion for Tarot and for the people it has connected me to has been an overwhelmingly positive influence in my life. The stories shared, the secrets I've been entrusted with, the feedback people have given me all continue to be an invaluable gift. I feel blessed to have found work that is meaningful to me and, I hope, beneficial to others.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I enjoy getting questions, comments, and feedback- so please, don't be shy! Feel free to e-mail me as well! firstname.lastname@example.org
Vintage photograph of an unknown card reader
An illustration of a palm reader by Wladyslaw Theodor Benda from The Country Gentleman
Photograph of a spirit on a stairwell similar to the way my mother describes seeing one
Graphic of an out-of-body experience
This is similar to, but much more intense and vivid than the lights I would see, and sometimes still do see, around people.
An image of my first Tarot deck, gifted to me by my future husband
Not at all what my posters looked like :-D
Little Mysteries sign
Laura Selenzi, co-founder of Serpentine Studios at the studio