Wednesday, May 4, 2022

An interview with a tarot reader...

One of my clients interviewed me for an article she was writing about tarot and therapy.  And here it is! 

I was very pleased to be included in such clever company... 

And in case you only want to read the bit about me (but the other stuff is super interesting too!) or can't open the link,  here is her part about our discussions:-

Liat Silberman, MA, was first introduced to the tarot as a teenager. She was visiting her grandmother, a rummy player. “I shuffled like a card shark,” Silberman recalls. One of her grandmother’s friends told her, “‘You have an affinity for the cards; you should learn tarot.’ And what teenage girl doesn’t want magic powers?” Silberman laughs.

So Silberman bought a copy of Rachel Pollack’s 1980 classic 78 Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness (Weiser Books), and a deck of tarot cards. She studied independently for years, learning that “the interplay between the cards is as important as the cards themselves. You look at what’s present and what’s absent, and how the cards talk to each other.”

Meanwhile, Silberman became a psychotherapist. She worked in both England and her native Australia before moving to the U.S. with her family in 2002; they returned to Sydney in 2016. She has read tarot cards professionally on a full-time basis since 2003. (Full disclosure: Silberman is my tarot card reader.)

Unlike Goldberg and Dr. Rosengarten, Silberman never incorporated tarot cards into her psychotherapy practice, possibly because her readings are often predictive. That said, “I have done therapy sessions where I’ve thought, ‘I really wish I could pull out the cards!’” she admits. “I’ve always said, and I really feel, that a good tarot session can cut through six months of therapy.”

Silberman doesn’t think her abilities are particularly unusual. She likens her aptitude to musical talent, noting that while some people are gifted musicians and others have tin ears, “most people can carry a tune.” Similarly, “I think most people have some kind of psychic ability. I think I’m intuitive, and I use the cards to amplify that.” More importantly, she believes these abilities can be developed: “You can practice your intuition.”

“I think people are searching for stuff in their lives, generally speaking,” Silberman notes. “Some people find it in church or by being busy, and some people find it in a quiet hour… I 100 percent believe ‘one river, many wells.’ I don’t believe that one well is better, I think one well is more accessible to one person than another. That’s how I feel about psychic things—whatever enriches and nourishes you is a good thing.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

All about love

There are a few motifs that emerge when you do a lot of tarot readings.  And finding love is definitely one of them. 

I read this article - The Dating Market is Getting Worse - in the Atlantic a while ago (2020)  and reread it again recently and found it fascinating. 

I have two longish anecdotes about dating.  

In olden days - when women started writing about finding an affectionate partner,  as well as a 'suitable one' - I'm looking at you Jane Austen -  you would go to a Ball, or have a season in town,  and be introduced to who ever was available at that time.  (Of course this is only for the gentry.  The working class just had who ever was in the village or passing through,  but at lets stick with the upper class for a moment.)  

Whoever you met at the ball,  on some level,  had already been vetted.  They were matched, more or less, on education,  class,  social standing,  life goals, religion etc.  So if there was sexual attraction,  that was a green light for marriage.  

However,  nowadays,  when you meet at a pub/club,  or even more so, on line,  nothing much has been vetted.  You don't know their past,  their education level,  their social standing or anything else.  So if you are sexually attracted,  that is one of the connectors,  but not the only one and maybe not even the strongest one.  So Sexual Attraction - is essential but by no means the only factor to assess.  Which is why so many relationships/dates based on sexual attraction falter.  The sex works,  but the value system,  the life goals,  the conversations - they aren't working so well.  It takes time (all our twenties?) to figure out that attraction is not enough,  we need more.  

And that leads me to anecdote number two.  In NYC in particular,  but really,  anywhere with an internet, which is everywhere,  there is a sense of choice, that there are plenty of fish in the sea.  Don't like this fish,  throw it back in and cast your net again.  Again,  in your college years or early twenties,  that's not too difficult.  There really are lots of people in your cohort in the same situation.  

But as supermarket studies show,  too much choice can be overwhelming.  The Great Jam Sample experiment showed that when offered 24 samples,  people were more likely to try,  but less likely to commit. And also,  oddly, less happy with their choice if they did actually buy one.  If only 6 samples were displayed,  there was less buzz around the table,  but those who did try,  were much more likely to both buy and be happy with their purchase.   I extrapolate this to dating and many New Yorkers agree with me.  Too much choice can make things harder. 

Also, it is an absolute truth,  that there is always the chance that someone funnier,  richer and perhaps better looking could be in the next room.  So if I chose X,  but then meet Y,  what do I do?  That's why dating is so hard.  There's no history,  no glue holding you together yet,  and the temptation of the better person is the next room can be so strong.  

That's why dating requires a certain level of emotional maturity (age has nothing to do with it.)  An awareness of possibilities but also realities,  of what is too great a compromise,  but also,  what is worth sitting with and starting to build upon.  There is no perfection,  but there are people who will bring out the best in us,  who we will bring out the best in them,  and we can grow stronger and better together.  And that's worth going through the dating process to find! 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Powerful Performance

 We are just starting to see art created and formed by the lockdowns of the previous two years.  As we gradually come out and return to a newish normal,  this show just reminded me,  viscerally,  of how hard the Covid past has been. 

Bo Burnham is a very talented comedic singer and his new show,  Inside, is both sharp and funny but also one of the best depictions of depression and isolation that I've ever seen.  I would not recommend watching it alone,  but I would definitely recommend watching it with people you trust,  so you can discuss with them how it resonated.  

I'm so glad that we are out of lockdown,  Australia had particularly long and onerous ones.  And now that things are opening up,  I often wonder how these past two years have impacted us,  especially children and young adults.  In a way I had it easy - no small children to home school,  no major life events that I had to miss,  no weddings to cancel,  funerals to zoom.  And still,  I found the reality of Covid sitting heavily on me.  If these past two years depressed or unsettled you,  please know you are not alone.  And if you have trouble reaching out again, now that things are easier,  also know that others are having that difficulty too.  

I personally found meditation,  self talk and practices of gratitude really helped me.  And of course,  tarot readings.  Talking to people about the important things in their lives is always rewarding and grounding for me.  

Monday, February 28, 2022

A New Deck

After a reading,  I often send clients into the wilds of the internet to search for a version of a card that was important in the reading.  For example if The World was important in your reading,  I'll tell you to search for one that really speaks to you,  so you can have it as your phone cover image,  or print it out and put it by your computer.  Something to keep that energy close at hand. 

What has changed over the years is that there is now a wealth of images around,  and if you don't like one version of a card,  with a little searching,  you will surely find one that speaks to you more clearly.   This Might Hurt Tarot has tweaked the traditional images of the Rider Waite Tarot deck and made them a little more accessible.   I also have a pintrest group of pages with lots of images that caught my eye. 

There are so many decks out there - exuberant,  minimalist,  darker and sweeter.  Go and explore,  it's part of the joy of the tarot that you can find the images that speak most to you. has a wide variety of decks and they all have 78 cards (some others have less, and you can't really do a traditional reading from them) so you can start exploring safely there. 

If you are hoping to learn how to read tarot cards,  I recommend starting with the Rider Waiter deck,  as it is a basis for so many other decks.  I've also had lots of people ask me lately what book I first started with.  It was 78 Degrees of Wisdom which I find is still excellent, after all these years!  You can also use this blog, which goes through every card in order.  Just start at the beginning and read on...  

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Thoughts for a New Year

I have to say I'm happy to say good bye to 2021.  And to 2020.  Here's to 2022.  May it be better for all of us!

I saw a show,  and the villain cursed us at the end with the threat of Covid ("Soon there will be a time where you won't be able to shake hands with anyone..." ) and we all loudly booed him from behind our masks!  

Here's my meditation for the New Year - 

Let's show our strength and be kind to one another... 

Friday, December 17, 2021

End of Year

Certain seasons are busier than others for me. Both the end and beginning of cycles bring people to the Tarot,  questioning what has happened,  how it will resolve,  what will occur next.

If you have some questions you want to explore,  I'm booked till the new year,  but still have some openings in January.  

If I don't speak to you before,  I hope you have a good festive season,  see your loved ones and if possible,  avoid crowded places.  

Wishing you all the best and a Happy New Year,



Thursday, November 25, 2021

Growing old disgracefully

I just did a reading where I referenced this poem - in the context of what to wear when working from home...

I looked it up and Jenny Joseph was actually 29 when she wrote it,  in the late 1960's in the UK. 

Still brings me joy. 

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.