Last week I took a leaf out of my own book and stepped out of my comfort zone. For too long I have been sitting in my comfort zone reading for family and friends and the occasional festival and I decided that the time had come for me to start taking my love for tarot and tarot reading "out there". I still believe I could be more active but I am getting there. I recently did a "drive by" tarot reading night on my Facebook page (that ended up going all weekend!) that was so much fun and seemed to be a success that I plan on doing them once a month. It was a fabulous experience in cold reading and bombardment (which you often get at festivals and such, you can be booked for the entire day very quickly!) and I truly enjoyed every reading I did ~ and to get such positive feedback from a few people as well really gave my heart a happy.
Last year I was approached by someone I have known for years who has started up SEQ Unity Events, a non profit organisation that provides readers for fund raising events and expos to become a regular reader on their rotation, starting with the Gold Coast Harmony, Health and Soul expo. My first reaction was to hang back and say "Oh no, I'm not good enough to go professional" and then I thought "Ah, fuck it ~ if Jae (and numerous others) think you're ready, get out there and be ready! Surely I can't be completely shit at something I love so much" So I booked a couple of days off work and said yes.
And man, was it amazing. Jae did warn me that I would want to "run away with the circus" after doing the expo and he was completely right! Even though I had to travel for hours, I was always happy to go, get in there and start "working". And where else could you go to work and have an American Indian do a drumming blessing before the day started? I know, seriously awesome! And there were so many presenters and workshops that were inspiring and stalls to visit...this was a little like Disneyland for me.
And at what workplace can you say "Let's have lunch at the food and wine expo next door?" Not many! I got to go on my first Food Safari, which is where you have to eat as much of the freely offered samples as possible. I don't think I ever want to eat chutney again (how could it be that there was so much freaking chutney in one place?!?!?) and I drew the line at pickled onions and whole marinated garlic bulbs (did I want to scare my clients away???) but fell in love with the Turkish bakery...ooohhhh spinach and feta flatbread, how I love thee...
But on to the important stuff, the readers gallery (or pit as it is affectionately known) Robert and Marilyn, the "pit bosses", took amazing care of us. I felt so supported and welcomed as one of the new kids on the block and I loved the way they organised appointments ~ some people were coming to see a specific reader, others were just in the market for a good reading, and for those people, Robert and Marilyn would have a talk with them and assign them a reader they thought would best serve the needs of the client rather then just take the money and fill a seat.
I had this idea that we would all be non-stop and just reading for 8 hours straight but that wasn't the case. Strangely, we were really quiet this year compared to other years so I got to meet and socialise with some people that I think I will be friends with for years to come ~ some of the other readers there were absolutely amazing!! I loved meeting them and learning from them and watching them work. Something that I love about readers is that we all have our own different ways of working with what we've got, and all have such different talents and modalities. I met some fascinating people. My favourite experiences were the reading exchanges we would do for each other ~ not only was it good for my ego when a professional reader would get goosebumps at what I was seeing, or would tell me I was on the money, but it was lovely to get pampered in return with a reading. I'm a raving egotist sometimes (hey, I'm a triple Leo, I can't help it!) and just love hearing about myself. Also, I really do see readings as something special to be treasured and enjoyed so to get a few of them from some people I consider to be at the top of the class was a real treat for me.
The best experience though was my first ever fourway. My wife had a heart attack when she first read my facebook status saying "I had my first foursome and I liked it!" It was a tarot reading foursome everyone ~ get your minds out of the gutter! Basically, four readers sitting at one table, and we each had a different deck so we shuffled and everyone pulled two cards from each other's decks and we read the cards from our decks for everyone. It was absolutely fascinating, because different decks have such meanings and ways of looking at life ~ I would do this regularly as a mentoring session if it was available. The messages we gave and received to and from each other were all relevant ~ Table Awesome was open for business!
I am also really proud of the readings I did for the people who sat across from me. I honestly believe I did some good work and truly felt I had found my place in the world. I've stepped onto a lifelong path that I know I don't want to deviate from or waste time on ever again. Something else I really liked about Robert and Marilyn is that they seek feedback from the people who received readings and gave it back to us ~ and it really gave me a soul-happy to hear that my clients were really pleased with the readings I had given them. Such a confidence boost and confirmation. Interestingly, the people I saw were all on various crossroads in their life and needed/wanted some direction or advice about the next step ~ and I am dedicated to Hecate, one of whose titles is Queen of the Crossroads. Coincidence? I think not!
There were a few downsides and lessons to the experience as well. Most of the readers were warm and inviting and fabulous people, but there were a couple who were quite negative ~ but I learnt to just block them out and concentrate on myself and the brilliant time I was having. Why be dragged down by someone else's bullshit?
I was amazed at myself for not being jealous of other readers who got more readings then me or got better feedback or that I perceived as being much better readers then me. The first day I was a bit perplexed at a couple of things, but I just decided that I was there for the experience and to take everything as it came. I realised I was there because I was good, and the feedback I was getting was testimony to that. I realised that the other readers being fabulous didn't make me less fabulous, it actually made me more fabulous and allowed me to see some new techniques and ways of reading that I am incorporating into my practise. It is so easy to fall into bitterness and jealousy (which is what I saw in a couple of other readers) but if you turn it around and become determined to make your experiences in life brilliant, it will be.
And now, I have to go, because I am getting fitted for my gypsy costume ~ I am running away with the circus after all!