Business Advice for the Metaphysical Practitioner

Chakra to-do listEvery self-employed person I know struggles to get structure into their workday. It can be even harder for the metaphysically inclined, because at the same time we try to get stuff done, we want to maintain a balanced energy system. To keep myself going as a professional tarot reader, I categorize my to-do list according to the 7 chakras. At any given time, I try to have something to engage each chakra. For instance:

Version 21st Chakra – Something Grounding

Start your day with 15 minutes of grounding introspection. Then, rather than have it hang over your head, let some of your home life into the workday. Garden, walk the dog, get groceries, exercise. File when you need to. Tidy your work place. Walk barefoot.

2nd Chakra – Something Rigorous

This creative chakra makes things happen. Make something with your hands. Deliver your product to your client. Put up flyers or do other outreach. Make nervy cold calls. Do something you can’t be shy about to push your intention outward.

3rd Chakra – Something Fun

Third chakra joy is the kind that makes you feel great about yourself. It’s playful and delicious. Hop on the bike to visit a gallery as fodder for an essay. Have lunch with a friend. Identify your favorite work activity and schedule it to recur multiple times this year. (I’ve done this with the Tarot Salon and Tarot Tuesdays).

Rider Waite Smith 4 of Wands4th Chakra – Something Interactive

This chakra reminds you to connect to your community. Do something for someone else’s good. Allow generosity into your day, and accept it when it is offered to you. Do a free reading. Donate an auction item. Contact a local business with a partnership idea. Respond positively when someone reaches out to you.

5th Chakra – Something Vocal

The keyboard is a tyrant! If you work from home, make sure you speak with someone about work every day. Blogging and posting to social media are poor substitutes, but if that’s what you’ve got, read your words aloud before hitting ‘send.’ Feel the sensation of saying what you mean.

Version 26th Chakra – Something Intuitive

If this is your craft, tarot reader, you are in luck. Get a reading in every day. Offer short, free readings if your client base is small – these are like weight lifting for intuitives. Schedule time to daydream and journal about the direction you want your business to go. Act on your intuition.

7th Chakra – Something Inspired

Meditation is where the 7th and 1st chakras meet. Write down your dreams. Quiet your mind so that you can converse with your subconscious. List your gratitudes. Study the work of a mentor. Let your 7th chakra take you somewhere unexpected.

Well, according to my own rules, this blog post is a poor substitute for 5th Chakra vocalizing, so I should wrap it up. I’ll read it aloud, then do some 3rd chakra play to find matching images. Luckily, I have an event with readings tonight, giving me the 4th and 6th chakra action I need. I can feel and see that I’ve neglected chakras 1, 2, and 7, which is something of a pattern for me. Luckily, my boss is pretty forgiving. And there’s still time for a rigorous walk before I have to head out.

If thinking of your to-do list in this way is helpful to you, huzzah! I’d love to hear your tips for me.

(pictured above: a Present Day Tarot to-do list color coded by chakra; the Ace of Pentacles from the Light and Shadow Tarot deck; 4 of Wands from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck; The High Priestess from Tarot del Fuego).


Tarot Workout: The Deck Makes the Difference

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Enjoy this as a sample reading. Or, if you are a tarot student, read the question, check out the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Read the end later to see how my response compares to your own. Leave comments for me about how your interpretation may differ.

The Question

The question wasn’t particularly unusual. Alison explained, “I love my career but am terribly unhappy at work. I was hired because of my expertise, which is desperately needed during a transition. My supervisors tell me they love me, but I get the feeling they are keeping me on just to train the next team, and then will let me go. Should I beat them to it and just leave before they fire me?”

Something about Alison made me want to step off the beaten path. I decided to use an unusual deck – the Tarot del Fuego by Ricardo Cavolo. (I’ve written about it before). Although I love this deck, its quirkiness can make for some unwieldy readings, and I don’t use it very often. It turns out that the idiosyncrasies served me well this time, as I pulled this simple 3-card spread.

The Layout

  • CARD 1 (Overall energy of Alison at work): Knight of Swords, upright
  • CARD 2 (Opportunity crossing for better or for worse): 3 of Cups
  • CARD 3 (Tarot advice for Alison): 6 of Swords, reversed


Here is a better look at the 3 cards in their upright positions:


(To complete the Tarot Workout, stop reading now to come up with your own interpretation of Alison’s cards. Read on only after you’ve settled on your answer, then enjoy a comparison to mine).

My Response

Tarot del Fuego Knight of SwordsAlison, my first take on this is that there are more positive things going on in your work than you are seeing. The Knight of Swords – representing you – is high-energy, action-driven, and sometimes impatient. (This description made Alison laugh at its accuracy). In this particular deck, the Knight is shown as a blindfolded stallion in full gallop, while a half-dozen eyes look on from the distance. To me, this validates that people notice your hard work and are thankful for it. While it may be true that they treat you like a workhorse, I get the feeling that the emotional distance between you does not come from their direction alone.

Version 2The second card, which is an opportunity that crosses you for better or worse, is the 3 of Cups – a card of abundance and friendship. If you are working toward an urgent goal now, I could see the frenzy of the Knight being needed. However, the 3 of Cups shows an enjoyable environment around you. That is either in the future, or, more likely, available to you now, if only you choose to see it. Is it possible that you are so intent on the workload and goals that you are less likely to truly see your colleagues as peers? To me, these cards suggest that you re-evaluate to see if there is more goodwill there than you realize. (Alison explained that, besides her supervisors, she enjoyed many of the other members of her team. She said there were several people she would miss if she were to leave).

Version 3With that, the advice card is intriguing. The 6 of Swords, when upright, typically says that it’s time to move on. In your reading, however, it has shown upside-down, which tweaks the message. That this card shows up at all for advice says that moving on
is a real option. However, upside-down it cautions you to be circumspect about how you proceed. Switching jobs may be a good move for you, but perhaps not for the same reasons you have in mind. While there may simply be a great job out there for you in terms of better pay, more status, or otherwise advancing your career, you (like any other person) run the risk of importing the same dynamic into a different setting. As you keep the door open to new possibilities, why not also be deliberate in making your daily experience better by enjoying the company of the colleagues you like? You may find that it changes the parts of your work that feel unbearable now, putting you on better footing to make a well-chosen move when it is the most advantageous for you.

We left the reading there, with Alison saying she felt both validated and challenged by the cards. As I have reflected on this reading, I think how much richer it was for having been done with the Tarot del Fuego deck. The Knight of Swords showed so much more individuality than the Rider-Waite-Smith card would have in this instance. The 6 of Swords is usually shown as a placid scene of someone sailing to calmer waters, but the Tarot del Fuego card shows a much more painful transition. I associate Cavolo’s card with plantar fasciitis and the agony of indecision, which highlighted the idea that she should move forward with care. I won’t be giving up my beloved Rider-Waite-Smith deck any time soon, but I’m happy for the interesting twists provided by this other deck.


If you are a Seattle-area reader, join the Tarot Salon — a twice-monthly gathering to talk and practice tarot in the Present Day Tarot studio.

For more information about Ricardo Cavolo, he’s got a very cool website and sells his decks here. The Rider-Waite-Smith, of course, can be found in many places.

Tarot Questions

If you could know the answer to all your questions, what questions would you ask?

Version 2“What’s going to happen to me?”

That would get old fast.

I bet you’d move quickly to “how can I…?” questions. How can I get the most from this situation? How can I understand what’s going on? How can I make the world a better place?

Not that all tarot questions need to be lofty. Personal curiosities are a huge part of our every day, and are often what draws people to tarot. But try shifting a question like, “will she go out with me?” to, “what can I do to better my chances?” Then see which question yields the more empowering information.

Creative and empowering questions make the best use of the Tarot and distinguish it from fortune-telling. And — the truly beautiful thing! — the more you explore what questions you really want to ask, the more likely you are to find rich, meaningful answers that will have a positive impact on your life.

The World card is the final Major Arcana card in the tarot deck. It is generally said to stand for awareness, completion, and earned wisdom. The World isn’t all-knowing; she just knows what questions to ask. The image above is from the Fountain Tarot.

Do you have an empowering question in mind? Contact me for a reading! Email and check out my website for more information.

Follow this blog if you don’t already! There’s a button around here somewhere…


Writing about Reading Tarot

The best tarot readings are felt, not thought. We all know what a big challenge it is to step away from our logical brains for a moment to feel the meaning of the energy around us. It’s a trust exercise that, happily, gets easier with practice and promises an exciting payoff when achieved.

I live that challenge in reverse when I write about readings afterwards. It means having to translate the felt experience back into a mental expression. It can require a lot of words and page space to record a momentary sensation. Thank goodness in-person tarot readings allow much more efficient, quick, and intuitive communication.

Here are some tarot cards that represent “writing” for me:


The Page of Wands is an earnest blogger. (Visconti-Sforza deck, c. 1450)



The Queen of Cups writes from the heart. (Golden Tarot, 2003)

13043405_1359126760767870_7468058497902526890_nThe Ace of Swords is the start of a brilliant analytic essay. (Antiquarian Tarot by Maree Bento, 2015)


The 4 of Pentacles describes writer’s block. (Rider-Waite-Smith deck, 1906)



The Hanged Man is an embedded journalist. (The Fountain Tarot, 2014)

There are so many writers and muses waiting to introduce themselves to you from your tarot deck. Which one best represents you when you write?


If you live in Seattle and study tarot, there may still be time to sign up for my 2-hour course on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 through the Field Trip Society. Check it out! (Edit 4/30 — the class is sold out. To learn about future classes, follow me on Facebook.


Tarot Workout: Who Will I Marry?

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Tarot students: read the questions, see the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Come back to check out how my response compares to your own ideas.
A Tarot Workout is an academic exercise, not a true reading. It is an opportunity for you to practice putting card meanings together. Since the questioner has no energetic connection to my essay, you will not have the benefit of an intuitive interaction – except, perhaps, with me! Of course, I alter all identifying details to respect anonymity.

Tarot Workout Question

A man asks: “What kind of person am I going to marry? Will she be someone who loves and respects me, or….?” I devise a 3-card spread and draw the following cards from the Pamela Coleman Smith commemorative deck:

  • Card #1 (Kind of person you are most likely to attract right now): Page of Cups, Reversed
  • Card #2 (What you should be on the lookout for): The Lovers, Upright
  • Card #3 (What you should be wary of): 9 of Swords, Upright

********** BREAK HERE TO PONDER THE CARDS *********

Yetta’s Response

  • My overall take on this reading is that it cautions you to beware of your attraction to lesser people than you deserve. It says that you are capable of finding a forever and respectful partner, but that it may not be your first impulse. The key to knowing the difference is being able to admit when things are going wrong.

Version 2The Page of Cups shows upside-down as the person you are most likely to attract in your current state of being. If this card were upright, it might be a childhood sweetheart and soulmate at the same time. Upside-down, I see this Page as cute, affectionate, and fun, but also emotionally immature. She may also be younger than you. This is not a ‘bad’ person at all, but it is someone who is not a capable partner in the long run.

Version 3Your Major Arcana card, The Lovers, shows upright as “what you should be on the lookout for.” To have such a big card in this position makes me feel that you are entirely capable of attaining this outcome if you, ahem, play your cards right. The challenge will be to listen to your inner wisdom. Despite its name, the Lovers card is not as romantic, in my view, as the Page of Cups. This card is about long-term commitment, choice and consequence. When you look at the Page you might say: What fun! When you look at the person represented by the Lovers you might say: I could see myself growing old with this person. The way you worded your question to me makes it clear that your inner voice is pointing you to the energy of the Lovers and not the Page.

9 of Swords Colman SmithThe third card, indicating what you should be wary of, is the 9 of Swords. This card is about stress and concern, and basically says that it will be abundantly obvious when you are on the wrong track. In your next romantic relationship, look for signs of worry and anxiety. Do you have a nagging feeling that this isn’t right? Do your friends express concern? Does that person live stressfully, and in a way that transfers stress to you? My sense from these cards is that it should not be a subtle sign, largely because it is in the upright position. However, the challenge is always (in my experience) to trust yourself enough to act on your best judgment.

When I look back at your question, it strikes me that — like Dorothy! — you had the answer before the reading even began! “What kind of person will I marry? Someone who respects me, or …?” You know yourself well enough to recognize that you have a weakness for people who are not the best for you. So know this as well: Tarot works as a reflection of your intuition. The correspondence is illuminating and not accidental.


Follow this blog if you are interested in doing more Tarot Workouts in the future. I have a growing number of offerings for students, including a Tarot Explorations class in Seattle on May 4th, 2017. To find out more and to sign up, visit my partners at The Field Trip Society.

If you want a reading, email me ( or go directly to my scheduling software.


Give Me a Name Like a Ring

By Yetta Snow

My mother recently distributed some old family jewelry to my siblings and me. I now have this sweet amethyst ring, which belonged to my great-great aunt on my father’s side. The note is written by my grandmother in script I recognize with my whole heart. It reads: “Birthday gift to Belle Estelle Snow from her father on her 16th birthday. She was my mother’s sister and lived with us many years.” My grandmother was born in 1899.

IMG_7099The Snow family name did not come directly to me. It is my given name only because I gave it to myself. This ring was handed down the maternal branches of my father’s side, and links me, via my grandmother Mary Snow Norton, to my chosen namesake.

By the way, my birthday is September 1st


A particularly nice grave marker in my home town

I am proud to claim my connection to these relatives. My grandmother was an artist and genealogist who kept great details of our ancestry. She inspired gravestone-rubbing excursions to small northeastern towns looking for members of the Snow, Norton and McIntyre families. When she died in 1987, I had just moved to Seattle from the Northeast. I was on a first date that turned awkward when I inexplicably burst into tears and felt compelled to tell my date all about my grandmother. Returning home that evening, I learned that she had died that same hour. It’s funny to become even closer to someone on the occasion of her death, but this is true about my bond with her.

And now I have a ring that she held, saved, and documented so carefully. Once I get it cleaned and checked for durability, it will become part of my tarot-reading rituals.

The best purpose of tarot ritual is to define your intention. It is to allow yourself to fully open to your consciousness while reading, knowing that when it is over, you will return to a normal level of skepticism and psychic protection. This is particularly important for empathic professionals who make use of their sensitivity, but also need to be able to turn it off. Come to think of it, I could have used a special ring in my Social Work days to protect myself from burn-out.

IMG_4935My rituals include keeping my cards wrapped in cloth and storing them on shelves higher than my shoulder. I do this to keep away the curse of losing my cards on cluttered counters. I use candles to remind myself and my clients to honor the space. I display a chakra-rainbow of crystals on my reading surface, and keep a humble garden rock in my pocket to help me stay grounded. This isn’t superstition. In my old work world, we would have called it “best practices” and put it on a PowerPoint slide.

So, thank you, Mom, Grandmother, and Great-Great Aunt Snow for my lovely new gift. I promise to wear it well.


I see a tarot class in your future! If you are reading this from Seattle, come to my Tarot Explorations class with the Field Trip Society on May 4th, 2017. If you cannot make that date, contact me to get on my email list for future events. And be sure to follow this blog!







Death Beckons the Tarot Reader

I recently came across the record of my very first Celtic Cross tarot spread, scribbled on the back of a brochure from a rental cabin I stayed in long ago.

My extended family was together for Christmas. I had been given a tarot deck, as I’d been hoping, and I secluded myself to explore this most compelling gift. I asked, “How do I fit into this family?” Within the first 10 cards, all 4 queens popped up, and although I couldn’t grasp a full message, the uncanny coincidence of it caught my breath. Over the course of the months that followed, queens showed far more often than chance would have allowed, as if hollering to get my attention, to tell me that my identity was, indeed, in these cards.

Death, waves to catch our attention in the 1789 Book of Thoth (above). At top, the Crowley-Harris version of 1943 looks like lead rock guitarist enjoying a good riff

Years later, I was reading for guests at a party. One woman wanted more to talk about tarot than to have an actual reading. She asked why I thought the Death card kept showing up whenever she consulted her cards. She wasn’t afraid of the message, just captured by it. Why Death, she asked?

Tarot talks to its readers in different ways. For me, having the Queens show up during my family reunion felt like a pinch and a wink from my deck. For this new reader, the Death card was less subtle – more like a bonk on the head saying, “Pay attention to this! There’s something big here for you! It will awaken a new way of seeing the world – keep your attention here!”

Have you been captured by the Tarot? If you are a new reader and would like some help learning, contact me about one-on-one or small-group mentoring. I have had great fun mentoring new readers through the Free Tarot Network, an affiliate of the American Tarot Association. My rates are not set. We can decide on something reasonable together. Contact me here with a Facebook message, or email